Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Test and Protect

Published: 18 Feb 2021
Last updated: 13 Oct 2021 - see all updates

Information and support for people who are asked to self-isolate because of COVID-19, including the Self-Isolation Support Grant (£500).

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Test and Protect
Make a plan for your household or family

Make a plan for your household or family

It will be helpful to plan ahead and think about who you could ask for help to make sure you can stay at home and self-isolate successfully, following the detailed guidance on NHS Inform. 

For example, you could ask your family, friends or neighbours to help you get the things you need to stay at home. Most major retailers now offer vouchers you can buy online to make this easier. Your employer or colleagues at work may also be able to help.

If you are self‑isolating as a close contact and you live with other people such as your partner, older children or house-mates, they may not need to self-isolate and could be able to go out for those things as well. 

Pharmacies can often arrange to deliver repeat prescriptions if you run out while you remain at home. Other people can collect a prescription on your behalf. 

You can also register online with retailers to arrange deliveries of food and other essentials while you are self-isolating, but keep in mind that supermarket delivery slots are currently in high demand, and there may not be enough delivery slots available to meet the needs of everyone who wants to access them. If you register for this service before you need to self-isolate, please keep going to the store while you are able. Retailers also have a range of other offerings in place including door-step deliveries of essentials and pre‑selected food packages.

The Ready Scotland website, is a useful place to find details of these services as well as other support available to you. 

If family, friends or neighbours are delivering food or medicines for you, avoid close contact by asking them to leave things at your door. You should arrange for any commercial deliveries you receive to be left at your door, and you should not sign for deliveries.

Things to think about: 

If you are planning ahead, actions you can take before you are asked to self-isolate include:

  • familiarising yourself with information and support available online by checking Ready Scotland and NHS Inform
  • talking to your neighbours and family and exchanging phone numbers of household contacts
  • creating a contact list with phone numbers of neighbours, schools, employer, pharmacist and your GP
  • setting up online shopping accounts if possible
  • ensuring adequate supplies of any regular medication and other essentials, but do not over-order
  • making a plan for those in your home who are vulnerable
  • talking to any children or young people in your household as they may be worried about coronavirus - you can find advice for supporting your child’s mental health during coronavirus through

Staying safe if you've ended self-isolation

Even if everyone in your household is fully vaccinated, you can still get coronavirus and pass it on to others.

If anyone in your household is a close contact who can end self-isolation, you can help protect others by following our guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread.

As well as getting a PCR test, members of your household may also consider:

  • limiting close contact with other people outside your household, especially in enclosed spaces
  • wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces and where you cannot maintain physical distancing
  • limiting contact with anyone who is at highest risk
  • taking part in twice weekly lateral flow device (LFD) testing

First published: 18 Feb 2021 Last updated: 13 Oct 2021 -