Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): unpaid carers providing personal care

Published: 27 Apr 2020
Last updated: 23 Dec 2020 - see all updates

Using PPE to help prevent the spread of the virus for people who visit or live with a friend/family and provide help with washing or dressing.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): unpaid carers providing personal care
Advice for carers living in the same household

Advice for carers living in the same household

Neither I nor the person I care for have any COVID-19 symptoms

Follow the general advice.

Wear any personal protective equipment (PPE) such as aprons or gloves as you normally would depending on the type of care you provide.  No additional PPE for COVID-19 is required unless you or the person you care for is symptomatic of COVID-19, however, face coverings should be worn in line with Scottish Government advice. See the sections below.

Shielding

Shielding was paused on 1 August 2020. Most people who have been shielding can follow general safety guidance. However it is important that they follow stringent physical distancing and hygiene measures.

You should take extra precautions to keep both you and the person you care for safe. This includes:

  • wearing a face covering when supporting them physically
  • maintaining physical distancing from other people outside your own household or extended household
  • washing your hands often

The person I care for has COVID-19, symptoms of COVID-19 or has been asked to self-isolate by Test and Protect

Follow the general advice and stay at home.

Also follow the guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) on NHS inform.

Wear any personal protective equipment (PPE) such as aprons or gloves as you normally would depending on the type of care you provide. 

You should also wear a face mask and eye protection (visor) for the period of time you are providing care for your friend or family member. 

After you have provided care directly to the individual, you should remove the face mask, eye protection (and any other PPE) and maintain a distance of 2 metres or more. 

The face mask should be replaced if it becomes damaged, soiled or uncomfortable.

When removed, PPE must be placed in a disposable bag and then a secondary disposable bag.  It should be tied and held for 72 hours before being placed in the household waste bin for collection. Ensure you perform hand hygiene after removal and disposal of PPE.

Wearing PPE will not remove the risk completely of either becoming infected with COVID-19, or being identified as a close contact through Test & Protect and asked to isolate for the required period but it will reduce the risk considerably.

I (carer) have COVID-19, symptoms of COVID-19 or have been asked to self-isolate by Test and Protect

If you have developed symptoms of COVID-19 and the person you care for has no symptoms, you should seek to make alternative arrangements.  You can contact your local social work department to make alternative care arrangements.

You should try to stay 2 metres from them as much as possible and follow guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) on NHS inform. 

If the person you care for also has COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19, you can continue to provide care provided you feel well enough to do so OR where you are unable to make alternative care arrangements you must:

  • wear any personal protective equipment (PPE) such as aprons or gloves as you normally would depending on the type of care you provide  
  • you should also wear a face mask for the period of time you are providing care for your friend or family member  
  • after you have provided care directly to the individual, you should remove the face mask (and any other PPE) and maintain a distance of 2 metres or more 
  • your face mask should be replaced if it becomes damaged, soiled or uncomfortable

When removed, PPE must be placed in a disposable bag and then a secondary disposable bag.  It should be tied and held for 72 hours before being placed in the household waste bin for collection. Ensure you perform hand hygiene after removal and disposal of PPE.

Wearing PPE will not remove the risk completely of either becoming infected with COVID-19, or being identified as a close contact through Test & Protect and asked to isolate for the required period but it will reduce the risk considerably.


First published: 27 Apr 2020 Last updated: 23 Dec 2020 -