HEALTH chiefs are looking at how Fife's Test and Trace system will operate as the world moves out of the pandemic in future months.

The demand for Test and Trace is expected to fall but the system will remain in some form.

Dr Joy Tomlinson, director of public health at NHS Fife, said: "Although people are talking about an endemic now, it's the World Health Organisation that takes that decision, but we are moving to a different stage.

"So we are looking at infrastructure, what do we need to change and how much do we need to change.

"There are various national groups that are taking this forward, but there's consensus that we cannot go back to December 2019 when the infrastructure didn't exist."

Speaking at last week's NHS Fife Board meeting, the coronavirus infection rate was described as "flattened" when looking at the latest data.

Dr Tomlinson explained that there were 676 cases a day over the previous week, far fewer than the 800-1,000 cases seen on some days over the Christmas period.

"Case numbers are giving a more settled picture, which is a very welcome change to the very busy festive period," she said.

"This is in line with the rest of Scotland and absolutely because of the effects of people limiting contact and testing."

Fife's Test and Trace team have been concentrating in contacting the most vulnerable over the very busy period, such as care homes and health and care staff, while using the digital contact services for others.

Dr Tomlinson added: "The latest survey of the population shows the public reacted positively to the Christmas restrictions.

"Contact was reduced by a whole person which is huge.

"The patter is that people were trying hard to follow guidance broadly and I am encouraged by that.

"People are weary but they are doing their upmost to follow Test and Trace protocol."