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 during the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): shielding advice and support
Seeing friends and family

Seeing friends and family

You can now follow the same guidance as the rest of the population in Scotland. This has recently changed to a total of 6 people from up to 2 households. This means you:

  • can meet people both indoors and outdoors – unless there are local restrictions in place
  • can stay overnight with people you do not live with
  • should maintain physical distancing from people outwith your household
  • should avoid meeting with people from more than 4 other households on the same day
  • should avoid sharing food and drink – each household should bring and eat their own food
  • should not meet with anyone who has coronavirus symptoms

To stay safe, when meeting people indoors, try to:

  • make sure everyone washes their hands on arrival, often during the visit and again when they get home
  • avoid touching hard surfaces with your hands – such as door handles and bannisters
  • sit away from those you do not live with
  • open windows to let in fresh air

To stay safe, when meeting people outdoors, try to:

  • choose times and areas that are quite
  • avoid touching hard surfaces with your hands – such as gates and park benches
  • remember to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds as soon as you get home

When visiting someone, you can use their toilet. You can also let family and friends visiting you outdoors to come into your home and use yours. Where possible, try to:

  • make sure that all surfaces have been cleaned beforehand
  • avoid touching surfaces with your hands as much as possible
  • clean any surfaces that you do touch afterwards
  • wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds
  • dry your hands with a fresh laundered towel or a paper towel that you can throw into a bin

Larger gatherings

You can also choose to attend larger gatherings. This includes weddings, funerals and worship. The more people you come into contact with, the higher your risk is of exposure to the virus. Think about this before deciding to attend a larger gathering.

Extended household groups

Some people can choose to form an extended household with one other household. An extended household group means that two households are treated as being one. They can visit each other and stay over, without physical distancing. This applies to:

  • adults who live alone
  • adults who live only with children under 18
  • non-cohabiting couples (and any children living with them)

You can choose to form an extended household with any other household. They do not need to be on the shielding list. You should think carefully if it is right for you and your circumstances, and if so which household to join.

The person who is on the shielding list can be an adult, young person or child. They do not need to be the person living alone. Examples include:

  • a 4-person household and a grandparent living alone who is not on the shielding list
  • a couple who do not live with each other, and instead both live with their parents

First published: 10 Sep 2020 Last updated: 22 Sep 2020 -