Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): shielding advice and support

Details of shielding advice to help people make informed decisions and access support services.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19): shielding advice and support
Pausing shielding

Pausing shielding

We have paused shielding from 1 August.

This will mean that you can follow the same guidance as the rest of Scotland. To stay safe, you should strictly follow physical distancing and hygiene measures.

Why we are doing this

At the start of the pandemic, we asked people at the highest risk from COVID-19 to stay home. This was because the infection rate in the community was so high.

The number of people in Scotland who are infectious is now very low. The latest estimate shows that from 31 July there will be approximately 1 in 18,160 people who are infectious.

We now know that the risks from being outside and catching coronavirus are very low. There is evidence that daylight outdoors kills the virus within minutes. 

The main way that coronavirus spreads is by droplets from an infected person when they cough. Evidence shows that the risk of catching the virus is very small if you are 2 metres or more away. This is because the droplets will have fallen to the ground. This is why our advice is to stay 2 metres away from people outwith your household.

As we keep improving our knowledge about the virus, we will also review the evidence for who needs to shield. If this should mean any change to our advice, we will contact you to let you know.

Making informed choices

Different things matter to different people. We want to help you to make informed choices based on your own individual circumstances. This will help you take back more control over your life while minimising risk.

Our online support will include:

If the infection rate goes up

The infection rate in Scotland may rise as well as fall in the coming months. Small changes will not affect this advice. We will keep our advice under constant review.

If we see an increase in infection rates that gives us concern, we may ask you to take extra steps again to stay safe. If so, we’ll let you know by letter and through the SMS Shielding Service.


First published: 3 Aug 2020 Last updated: 5 Aug 2020 -