Shielding – Self isolation for the extremely vulnerable
What is 'shielding'?
People with specific health conditions were asked a few months ago to carry out shielding, initially for 12 weeks then extended to the end of July 2020, as they were at the highest risk of being severely affected if they contracted COVID-19.
Shielding is a recommended form of self-isolating to minimise your contact with others to try to prevent you from contracting Coronavirus.
People who have been advised to shield because of COVID-19, will no longer have to do so from 1 August.
Those affected will receive a letter from the Chief Medical Officer Dr Gregor Smith outlining updated guidance as well as the pause in shielding, which is possible due to the continuing low levels of COVID-19 infection in Scotland.
Those in the shielding group will also be advised how to carry out various day-to-day activities safely and advice on returning to work and schools will also be issued. Updates will be available on the NHS Inform and Scottish Government websites.
From 1 August, those who have been shielding will be asked to follow general safety guidance, as well as follow stringent physical distancing and hygiene measures.
From 24 July, those who have been shielding can meet indoors with up to eight people from two households, as long as physical distancing is observed.
They can also visit indoor shops, markets and pharmacies, museums, galleries, libraries and cinemas, and attend hairdressers and barbers.
They can also meet outdoors in groups of up to 15 people from a maximum of four households per day. They can also choose to go to pubs and restaurants with outdoor spaces, though it is advised that busy places are avoided.
Those shielding can now also use public transport, as well as taxis, as long as a face covering is worn, and children who live with someone shielding can now also attend formal childcare providers.
Anyone who has been receiving government food boxes will continue to receive these until the end of July. Priority access to supermarket delivery slots will also continue for those who have signed up before 31 July.
Listen to an interview with Trish Carlyle, Group Service Manager, East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership broadcast on Radio Saltire Sunday Breakfast show 26 July 2020: listen on the Radio Saltire website.
If you have been receiving support from East Lothian Council, we would encourage you to now get out & about safely, following Scottish Government guidance. However, if you still feel you need extra support, please contact [email protected] or phone 01875 824300.
Test, Protect and Isolate
Under the Scottish Government's measures to break the chain of transmission of the virus, you may be asked to self-isolate for two weeks if it is established that you have been in contact with someone infected with COVID-19. You are likely to have support from friends and family to do this but do get in touch with us if you need help. More information on Test, Protect and Isolate is available on the Scottish Government website.