The new coronavirus has been made a “notifiable disease” in Scotland, meaning medics must alert health boards if they suspect a patient is infected.
Public health regulations were amended to place Covid-19 on the list of notifiable diseases north of the border, which also includes cholera, rabies, measles and tuberculosis.
Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood has written to NHS boards, medical practitioners and directors of diagnostic laboratories to make them aware of the changes.
As of Friday afternoon, 368 people had been tested for coronavirus across Scotland, with all results negative.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “Although all Scottish tests have so far been negative, we are prepared for the high likelihood that we will also see a positive case in Scotland.
“These changes keep our public health legislation up to date, ensuring the health service in Scotland can quickly respond, if a suspected case of coronavirus is confirmed.
“Our NHS is well-equipped to cope with any suspected cases. We are actively working with health boards to ensure this and have well-rehearsed procedures in place for infections of this kind.”
The virus became a notifiable disease in Ireland on Thursday.