Covid-19 Shielding Latest information about shielding Shielding – Changes announced by the Scottish Government Last updated: 04/01/21 From midnight on 4th January it is a legal requirement in mainland Scotland to stay at home except for essential purposes. This is similar to the lockdown of March last year (2020). For more information, consult the Scottish Government website Shielding has kept many people safe during the Covid-19 lockdown and has helped those who are most at risk if they catch COVID-19. The Scottish Government has been monitoring, reviewing and acting on clinical and scientific advice to help make decisions. They recognise how hard it has been for many. The Scottish Government have announced new guidance for people who are shielding. This advice includes people with spinal cord injuries who have had a shielding letter advising them to stay at home for 12 weeks. The Scottish Government have announced new changes to the guidance: People should continue to shield until at least 31st July. The original advice was to shield for at least 12 weeks, which comes to an end on 18 June. The levels of infection in the community are now significantly lower than they were in March, but the evidence suggests that it is advisable that people with the highest clinical risk should continue to shield. The Chief Medical Officer is writing to everyone who has been asked to shield on 8 June and this new letter will act as a fit note for your employer up to 31 July. Shielding people can take outdoor exercise from the 18th June If infection rates are low enough, and they follow the social distancing advice. From Friday 24th July you can meet indoors with up to 8 people from 2 other households with physical distancing meet outdoors with up to 15 people from 4 other households outdoors with physical distancing use public transport wearing a face covering go to pubs and restaurants with outdoor spaces use formal childcare providers – this does not apply to children who are shielding You can also choose to go into shops and leisure venues, wearing a face covering. The new Scottish Government guidance on shielding can be found here. What if I am worried about going outside again? The Scottish Government’s clinical and scientific advisors say that the chance of catching the virus while outdoors, while following social distancing advice is very low. There are proven benefits for your mental and physical health to be outside, breathe fresh air and enjoy a change of environment. If you are worried, you can call us for advice on 0800 0132 305 and we’re happy to talk through any questions you have. What will happen next? Over the coming weeks and months the Scottish Government will continue to review the situation and aims to provide everyone who is shielding with more information, including specific information about their condition to help makes choices about their own lives.