Staying safe outdoors
Our advice is that you can choose to leave your home to exercise or meet with people outdoors. This is as long as the infection rate in Scotland stays low. There are no limits on the number of times you can go out, or for how long you can stay out.
Who this advice applies to
This advice applies to most people who have been asked to shield. This includes those who are pregnant. It also includes any children and young people who have been asked to continue to shield.
This advice does not yet apply if you have been asked to shield while living in a residential nursing or care home.
We advise anyone shielding because you are waiting on a solid organ to strictly follow this guidance. Please also contact your transplant team to discuss if this advice is right for you.
Advice for going outdoors
Before leaving your home you should plan how you will keep safe and minimise risk. We advise that you consider:
- taking an alcohol-based hand rub (hand sanitiser) with you and use it often, especially before eating or after touching surfaces
- taking tissues and a separate bag to keep used tissues
When outdoors, try to:
- stay 2 at least metres away from anyone you do not live with
- wear a face covering if it is not possible to maintain physical distancing
- avoid touching hard surfaces such as gates, walls, fences and park benches with your hands
- choose times and areas that are quiet
- wash your hands for at least 20 seconds as soon as you get back home
Wearing face coverings
Our advice is to maintain physical distancing while outdoors at all times. This is the best way to stay safe.
Wear a face covering, if you think there’s a chance you may not be able to maintain physical distancing.
By face coverings, we do not mean the wearing of a surgical or other medical grade mask. It is a facial covering over your mouth and nose. This can be made of cloth or other textiles. For example, a scarf through which you can breathe.
Meeting family and friends
If you choose to meet with people from another household, we advise that you:
- only do this outdoors, including in gardens
- keep 2 metres (3 steps) away from people you do not live with
- avoid meeting with people from more than 2 other household on the same day
- only meet with people in small groups of no more than 8 people at once
- do not share food and drink – bring and eat your own food separately
This is because the virus can survive much longer indoors. Please do not go into shops, the chemist or other people’s houses.
If you are going into someone’s house to use their toilet, where possible:
- make sure that all surfaces have been wiped with an antibacterial cleaning product beforehand
- avoid touching surfaces with your hands as much as possible
- clean any surfaces that you do touch afterwards
- wash your hands thoroughly and dry them with a fresh laundered towel or a paper towel that you can dispose of into a bin
Going outdoors to exercise or be active
If you have not been very active for the last few months, you may wish to take things slowly at first. NHS Inform has more guidance about physical activity.
If you choose to go outdoors to be active, you can:
- do whatever level of physical activity feels comfortable for you
- go for a run, wheel, walk or cycle as much as you want
- take part in a non-contact outdoor sport or activity, such as golf, hiking, canoeing, outdoor swimming, fishing etc.
From 10 July, there will be no limit on how far you can choose to travel.
You can travel in a car, either driving yourself or someone who you live with can drive you. For now, do not go in a car with people you do not live with.
Avoid using public transport.
Going on holiday
From 10 July, people who are shielding can stay in self-catering accommodation and travel to second homes. This can be with the people who live with, or people in your extended household.
Self-catering accommodation includes anywhere that does not have shared facilities. It must also be accessible via an external door.
We have produced guidance for the hospitality industry which includes hygiene precautions. This includes regular disinfection of objects and surfaces that are touched regularly. You may wish to check what hygiene measures are in place with the provider beforehand.