Staying safe at home
This advice is for the people who the NHS has identified and asked to shield. They will have received a letter from the Chief Medical Officer.
From 10 July, our advice will be that people who have been asked to shield:
- can stop physically distancing from the people they live with
- should avoid going out for shopping or to pick up prescription medication – please arrange for someone you know to deliver them, use supermarket delivery services or ask your local authority for support
- continue to work from home, if possible
From 10 July, people who are shielding can also choose to form an extended household.
This applies to people who live alone, or who lives only with children under 18. This means that they are treated as being part of that household. You can visit this household indoors and stay over, without physical distancing.
You can choose to form an extended household with any other household. They do not need to be shielding. You should only form an extended household with one other household.
This is different to the guidance on forming and extended household for the rest of Scotland.
No matter what our shielding advice is, it is important to:
- wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds
- clean hard surfaces with antibacterial cleaning products
- cover your mouth to cough either into a tissue you can dispose straightaway or into a bent elbow
- try to avoid touching your face as much as you can
- avoid contact with anyone who has the symptoms of COVID-19
Looking after your mental health
We know you may have found it difficult and isolating to stay at home. Moving into the new phases of shielding, we hope that this will have a positive impact on your wellbeing.
Staying active is good for your mental health. When you are feeling able to, we encourage you to go outside in the fresh air. This could be to go for a walk, wheel or to take part in another outdoor activity. NHS Inform has advice on safe ways to be active either at home or outdoors. This includes gentle exercises to improve strength and balance.
Other things you can do to look after your wellbeing include:
- spending time doing things you enjoy – hobbies like reading, cooking, jigsaws, walking, gardening
- meeting friends and family outdoors – please read our guidance before doing this
- making sure that you get some natural light
- trying to eat healthy and drinking enough water
- trying to avoid smoking, alcohol and recreational drugs
You may also find it helpful to visit clear your head for more ideas and advice. Call the free national helpline on 0800 111 4000 if you need any support with shielding.
People in Scotland should consider taking a daily supplement of vitamin D. This is very important if you are not spending as much time outdoors.