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
Staying safe

Staying safe

The number of people in Scotland with coronavirus is decreasing. However, people on the shielding list still have the same risk of severe illness from the virus. You may want to remember this when making decisions about things that are important to you.

There are ways to lower your risk of exposure to the virus as you start doing more activities outside your home. 

Before leaving your home, plan how you will keep safe and minimise risk by:

  • taking an alcohol-based hand rub (hand sanitiser) 
  • taking tissues and a separate bag to keep used tissues
  • taking a face covering
  • choosing times and areas that are quiet

When outdoors, as much as possible, try to:

  • stay at 2 least metres away from others – except the people you live with or are in your extended household group
  • wear a face covering inside shops and on public transport, unless you are exempt
  • avoid touching hard surfaces with your hands – such as door handles, gates, seats and tables
  • use a hand sanitiser often – especially before eating or after touching hard surfaces
  • wash your hands for at least 20 seconds as soon as you get home

Face coverings

The best way to lower your risk is to maintain 2 metre physical distancing as much as possible. It is also best to avoid busy or crowded places.

Face coverings reduce the risk of the wearer passing on the infection. This is why it is now mandatory to wear face coverings when physical distancing is difficult. This includes inside shops and on public transport. It now also includes inside hospitality settings like cafes, pubs and restaurants when not eating and drinking.

By face coverings, we do not mean the wearing of a surgical or other medical grade mask. It is any material covering your mouth and nose. For example, a scarf through which you can breathe.

Some people are not required to wear a face covering. There are also reasons why some people cannot wear a face covering. This could be because a face covering would cause you difficult, pain or severe distress. This might be due to a health condition or disability. You do not need proof of this.

First published: 7 Oct 2020 Last updated: 16 Oct 2020 -