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


From 9 August the whole of Scotland will move beyond Level 0.

However, we will still be asking everyone in Scotland to continue to follow some important precautionary measures. See the rules and advice that still apply to everyone in Scotland. We are asking people at highest risk to follow the same advice as for the rest of the population.

Find out what these changes mean for the highest risk group on The highest risk group used to be known as ‘the shielding list’.

Work, education, childcare and transport

It’s safe for people in the highest risk group to go into work if you cannot work from home. It’s also safe for you to use public transport. Children and young people can go to school, university and college, and childcare.

Vaccine drop-in clinics

You can be vaccinated at a drop-in clinic. You do not need an appointment and can go at a time that suits you. You can find your nearest drop-in clinic on the NHS inform website.

If you need help with transport to your vaccination or would like to request a home vaccination, please phone the Scottish Covid Vaccination Helpline on 0800 030 8013 (8am - 8pm).

Find more information about vaccinations for the highest risk group on This includes information about vaccines for children and young people.

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 twice a week to check they have not caught Covid

If you’re immunosuppressed

We know that many of you on the highest risk list are immunosuppressed. Evidence continues to emerge about how well the vaccine works for people who are immunosuppressed and on the highest risk list.  A new report from the University of Edinburgh clearly shows that, for the majority of people in the highest risk group, one dose of the vaccine is just as effective as it is for people without risk conditions.

We know more work is needed to understand the impact of the vaccine on people in some high risk groups, such as solid organ transplant recipients. We’re awaiting further guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisation (JCVI), whose advice informs our approach to vaccinations in Scotland. They are currently reviewing all the evidence to advise if any additional doses of vaccine would be required for some of these high risk groups.

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 in the highest risk group 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.

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: 21 Sep 2021 -