Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): shielding advice and support

Details of shielding advice to help people make informed decisions and access support services during the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): shielding advice and support

Overview of 'shielding' 

Find out more about the latest local restrictions: we are advising people who live in some areas where there have been increase in numbers of coronavirus cases to be extra careful to keep themselves safe. We are not asking people to start shielding again. We are keeping this under constant review. We will make changes to our advice if we need to.

Shielding updates

People who have been shielding can now follow the same advice as everyone else in Scotland.

The current infection rate for coronavirus in Scotland is low enough for us to change our advice. Also, we know that shielding can have a big impact on people's wellbeing. These two factors are why we are currently advising people not to shield.

We know that you might still be anxious, so we:

For more information on case numbers in your area, visit Public Health Scotland’s dashboard. This is updated daily with the latest figures from across Scotland.

Who this advice applies to

This advice applies to most people on the shielding list.

This includes people who are at the highest risk of severe illness from coronavirus. People on the list will receive a letter telling them so. This includes some children and young people.

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

Some of this advice may not be suitable for you. 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.

Examples include people who:

  • are waiting on a solid organ transplant
  • are having treatment for cancer or have recently completed treatment

Text messaging service

We will continue to send updates to your mobile phone through the Scottish Government text messaging service.

We encourage you to sign up to this service. This will make sure you receive updates as quickly as possible in the event of new local or national restrictions. We will also sometimes send you other useful information to help keep you safe.

You can sign up by texting your 10 digit CHI number to 07860 064525. You can find your CHI number on the shielding letter you have received. Please do not include any other information. The service will confirm that you are on the shielding list.

This service is only for people on the shielding list.

The service only accepts text messages. It does not take voice calls and cannot respond to questions. It can only respond to your texts with pre-programmed replies.


Call 0800 111 4000 to speak to someone from your local authority. This is the national COVID-19 helpline and it is free. It is open Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm.

First published: 10 Sep 2020 Last updated: 22 Sep 2020 -