The Scottish Government have put in place measures to protect people at the highest risk because of existing health conditions. This group is currently around 180,000 people who have since March been shielding.

The Scottish Government have now updated their guidance for those in this category, and those affected will receive a letter from the Chief Medical Officer outlining new guidelines.

This update will include the possibility of a complete pause in shielding from 1 August, as long as it is safe to do so and prevalence of the disease in Scotland is at very low levels.

Anybody who is shielding – unless they live in a nursing or residential care home – is now able to:

  • Exercise outdoors with no limits.
  • Take part in non-contact outdoor activities.
  • Meet people outdoors from up to 3 other household, in groups of up to 8.

From 10th July

  • From 10 July those shielding will no longer be advised to physically distance from people they live with.
  • They can meet up to eight people from three other households outdoors every day, as long as hygiene and physical distancing advice is followed.
  • Those who have been advised to shield will also be able to travel further than 5 miles from their house.
  • They can also book places to stay without shared facilities and use toilets in other people’s houses if they are meeting them outdoors.
  • Those currently shielding who live alone, or with another person under 18 can also form a ‘extended household group’ with one other household.  This means that the shielding group can visit that household indoors and stay overnight without  distancing.

The decision on whether infection levels are low enough to allow shielding to be paused from 1 August will be announced before the end of July.

Further advice on going back to work, and whether children who are shielding can return to school, will also be issued before the end of the month.