Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for people at highest risk

Advice to help people in the Covid highest risk group make informed decisions and access support services.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for people at highest risk


Advice for people on the Highest Risk List

Our advice is that people on the Highest Risk List can continue to follow the same advice as the rest of the population. This is still the case even though Omicron is now the dominant variant in Scotland.

Find more information about our latest advice for people on the Highest Risk List on

See the rules and advice that apply to everyone in Scotland.

Staying safe at work

Visit our advice on working page for guidance on going to work and staying safe in the workplace.


Find information about vaccinations on NHSinform. This includes information for people with underlying health conditions.

Adults who live with you

Adults who live with you can help reduce their risk of passing Covid to you by:

  • getting vaccinated as soon as they can
  • taking lateral flow tests regularly to check they have not caught Covid

Changes to testing and self-isolation in Scotland

Self-isolation and testing guidance changed in Scotland on 6 January. Find out more about self-isolating and about testing on NHS Inform.

Priority PCR tests for people on the Highest Risk List

If you’re on the Highest Risk List in Scotland, you’re now high priority for booking a PCR test when demand is high. This means if you develop Covid symptoms you’ll be able to get a PCR test quickly.

If you don't have symptoms, you should continue doing regular Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests.

How to book your priority PCR test

If you develop symptoms, book a PCR test as soon as you can by:

Tell the person on the phone that you are on the Highest Risk List. 

Who the advice on this page applies to

This advice applies to people at the highest risk of severe illness from coronavirus. People who are on the Highest Risk List will have received a letter from the Chief Medical Officer telling them so. This includes some children and young people.

Contact your specialist care team to discuss if this advice is right for you. It will depend on your individual situation.

Your clinician might suggest you avoid doing certain things. This will be because of your specific health condition or treatments. You should continue to follow any specific advice they give you.

Everyone on the Highest Risk List should consider their own individual circumstances when taking decisions about what’s right for them. They should keep following any previous advice from their clinicians.

Care home residents

This advice does not apply to anyone living in a residential care or nursing home. Care homes are following the separate guidance for care home settings.

First published: 23 Feb 2021 Last updated: 14 Jan 2022 -