Support with self-isolating / shielding


People with specific health conditions were asked to carry out shielding at the beginning of the pandemic as they were at the highest risk of being severely affected if they contracted COVID-19.

From Monday 26th April, when mainland Scotland moved into Protection Level 3, those on the shielding list were able to return to the workplace (if they can't work from home) and to education settings.  

If you were shielding make sure you sign up up for the text alert service - so you can keep updated on the infection rate in your local area and get extra advice as we progress through the easing of lockdown measures. You can sign up by sending your Community Health Index (CHI) number to 0786 006 4525. You can find your CHI number in the letters you've had from the Scottish Government.  

The Scottish Government will never ask you for sensitive personal information or your banking details. If you receive a suspicious text message, you can report it by calling Police Scotland on 101.

These links may be helpful:

Read: 'Privacy notice - shielding


Adults sharing a household with anyone on the shielding list are now being encouraged to order free lateral flow tests. Lateral flow tests are at-home coronavirus tests that give quick results. These tests are only for people who do not have coronavirus symptoms. Everyone in Scotland can now get free home-testing lateral flow tests to take twice a week. This will help to find people who don’t have symptoms and would not know they have coronavirus. If adult members of your family or household get a positive test, this could reduce the risk of them passing on coronavirus to you as they will then know to self-isolate away from you.

How to get lateral flow tests

You can order free lateral flow tests for adults in your household at or by phoning the National Testing Centre on 0300 303 2713.


Anyone at any time may have to self-isolate if for example you or anyone in your household develop COVID-19 symptoms; if you are returning from certain other countries and need to quarantine or if you're asked to isolate via the Scottish Government's Test, Protect and Isolate system, which is in place to identify those who may have come into direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. 

Most people will be able to self-isolate with help from friends, family and neighbours and by arranging grocery deliveries - however if you need extra support, please contact or phone our helpline: 01875 824300. If you are needing extra help with food provision, you can see the local support available on our website

You can also call the British Red Cross coronavirus support line on 0808 196 3651. This was set up to provide support to communities and people in need during the coronavirus pandemic, giving people without a support network someone to talk to, and to help them access things they may need like food, medicine and emotional support.

You can get information on Test, Protect and Isolate from the Scottish Government website

Self-isolation Support Grants

The Scottish Welfare Fund team delivers Self-Isolation Support Grants  (SISG) on behalf of the Scottish Government for the residents of East Lothian. 

It will provide workers with the financial support they need to meet their basic needs during the 10 day period in which they are unable to work . These payments are designed to help ensure people who have tested positive for COVID-19, and their close contacts, self-isolate for the required period to stop the onward spread of the virus. It is not available pending a test result but it is designed to encourage individuals who are eligible for this payment to get tested quickly if they have symptoms. This is important to help stop the transmission of COVID-19 and avoid further economic and societal restrictions.

You may be eligible for a £500 payment if you meet the following criteria:

  • have been required to self-isolate by Test and Protect Scotland; or
  • have been notified by the Protect Scotland app (or equivalent app) to self-isolate;  or
  • are the identified appropriate parent or primary carer of a child under 16 who has been required to self-isolate; or
  • are the identified appropriate carer of a person over 16 who has been required to self-isolate.

In addition, you must meet the following criteria:

  • make an application within 28 days of the day that you are required to self-isolate
  • are employed or self-employed and unable to work from home
  • will face reduced earnings as a result of self-isolating
  • in receipt of at least one of the following benefits:
  • Universal Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Income based Employment and Support allowance
  • Income based Job seekers allowance
  • Income support
  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Credit
  • Means-tested Council Tax Reduction or
  • are an individual who earns less than the £1543.75 gross per month or
  • your household income is such that it falls within the agreed definition of ‘low income’ for your household type

Applications for support are for single applicants. Any other applications for those within the same household must be made separately and individually. 

Supporting evidence required

Before you apply, please ensure you have the information in this list:

  • your National Insurance number
  • a notification from Test and Protect asking that you self-isolate or Protect Scotland app certification
  • your most recent wage slip, or proof of self-employment
  • your most recent bank statement

If you meet these criteria and wish to apply, please apply online for a self-isolation support grant