Overview of 'shielding'
We are asking people in the shielding group to take extra steps to reduce their risk of catching coronavirus. It is up to individuals whether to follow this advice. However, the Chief Medical Officer strongly urges that they do.
Our advice is to keep shielding until at least 31 July 2020. From 10 July, our advice is that people who are shielding at home can:
- stop physically distancing from the people they live with
- use indoor toilets in other people’s houses when visiting them outdoors
- meet up to 8 people outdoors, from 2 other households, in a single day
- travel further than 5 miles from your house, as far as they want
- book self-catering accommodation or travel to a second home - only to stay over with people they live with at home
These changes only apply to those who are shielding and do not live in a residential care or nursing home. Your care home should be following the Care Home Visiting pathway.
We will continue to support those who have been asked to shield until at least the end of July. This includes:
- priority access to supermarket delivery slots
- weekly grocery boxes – please note that these will stop once shielding is paused
- prescription deliveries
- access to cash
Contact the national COVID-19 helpline on 0800 111 4000 if you need support with shielding.
Why we are doing this
We know that shielding is hard. At the moment, it’s still the best way for those in the highest risk group to stay safe from coronavirus.
We are basing our advice on evidence. It has been agreed by our clinical and scientific advisory groups.
We do not plan to ask people to shield forever. If infections rates in Scotland continue to fall, we will look to pause shielding from 1 August. This is because we do not want people to carry on shielding if they do not need to. We will confirm whether this is the case before the end of July.
On 8 June, we published Shielding: a way forward for Scotland. It explains, in more detail, why we have been able to change our advice on going outdoors. It also gives reasons for asking people in this group to keep shielding until at least 31 July.