Changes to advice for children and young people.
New evidence indicates that a large percentage of children and young people may no longer need to shield.
A review by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health with regard to COVID-19 states that the majority of children with conditions including asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, and kidney disease do not need to continue to shield and can, for example, return to school as it reopens. The latest advice is supported by clinical advisory groups and all 4 UK administrations.
However, no child or young person will be removed from the shielding list until a discussion has been held with their clinical team. These discussions will take place throughout July, ensuring children have appropriate advice for their condition ahead of schools returning in August.
Those who no longer need to shield should follow the advice for the wider population on social distancing together with the advice from their clinicians.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:
“Our experience and knowledge of the impact of COVID-19 infection on children and young people with underlying health conditions has been developing over time.
“New evidence and research findings allow us to update the advice about which children are at the highest risk of severe infection because they are clinically extremely vulnerable.
"Getting the balance right between the importance of protecting those most vulnerable to severe impact from this virus and the social and psychological impact of shielding is complex but it is important we do all we can to get it right.
“This announcement is six weeks before schools go back and means many children and young people won’t require to shield over the summer holidays.
“We know that many children and young people and their parents/carers will understandably feel cautious and uncertain at this time and the updated advice provides help and guidance for them and their clinicians.
“We are doing everything we can to get the advice right so that people in Scotland can safely, and gradually, start to make choices that reflect their individual and local circumstances.”