Shielding is for people, including children, who are at very high risk of severe illness from Coronavirus (COVID-19). Residents within this group were sent a letter from the Scottish Government Chief Medical Officer advising to quarantine for at least 12 weeks. Since 31 July, shielding for extremely vulnerable people has been paused.
*Important update* From midnight on Tuesday 5 January, lockdown measures come into place across mainland Scotland. This is to help suppress the spread of the new variant of coronavirus. This new variant is much more quickly and easily spread.
To minimise the risk of spreading the virus, you must stay at home as much as possible. By law, in a level 4 area, you can only leave your home (or garden) for an essential purpose.
A list of essential purposes can be found at https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/
The Questions and Answers from The Scottish Government outline what these new restriction mean for people who had been shielding:
No. We’re not advising you to stop going outside, which we know is good for mental and physical health. You should stay at home as much as possible but you can still go out for exercise and essential shopping or medicines.
No. We are not advising people to start shielding again. It is important to strictly follow the protection level guidance for your area and maintain regular hand washing, physical distancing and face coverings.
If you are in the highest protection level 4 and during this lockdown, we are advising you to take some extra precautions to ensure your safety. This includes:
• Minimise contact with people outside your own household
• You should not take public transport, including taxis
• Strictly follow the guidelines when shopping and limiting the number of times you go to a shop
• Shop at quieter times
• Children on the shielding list should not attend school or college in person
These measures are currently in place until the end of January, but this will be reviewed in two weeks.
You should follow the updated advice and only work from home. Employers should make sure their staff can work from home if possible. If you cannot work from home, you should not go into your work place.
Receiving the letter from the Chief Medical Officer of 5 January 2021 does not automatically mean you need to stay off work. This can only be used if you cannot work from home.
All you need to do is show them this letter, which serves as a fit note, and is called your Shielding Notification. You do not need a separate fit note from your GP.
If you are a young person between the ages of 16 and 17 and working, and you cannot work at home, we will arrange for a letter to be sent to you. This letter will act as a fit note which you should show to your employer.
If you cannot work from home, your employer may be able to furlough you through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The scheme will continue until April 2021. If your employer furloughs you, you will stay off work but get at least 80% of your normal salary. Your employer will also keep paying your National Insurance and pension contributions.
If your employer cannot furlough you, you may be able to get Statutory Sick Pay, Universal Credit, or other benefits. To find out what benefits you can get, speak to your employer, visit GOV.UK, or contact Citizens Advice Scotland.
You should also ask your employer if they can offer any financial support if you cannot work.
The Job Retention Scheme (furlough) does not cover you if you are self-employed. Instead, find out if you can get support from the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme at GOV.UK.
Follow the advice for the general population, which you can find on the Parent Club website. You should only use or provide informal childcare (babysitters, nannies, and care by family or friends) if there is no other option. Only children should enter the home of another household.
Voluntary Action East Renfrewshire, together with East Renfrewshire Council and Health & Social Care Partnership are operating a Community Hub phone line for local people and organisations looking for support, signposting and community information.
If you are isolated without a family, friends or neighbours to help or looking for information about what supports are available within the community contact us Monday to Friday, 10-3pm:
Initial Contact Team:
Any health and social care enquiries; needing help to manage at home alone, worried about a loved one or neighbour that needs care please contact:
All council enquiries from bin collections to council tax, please contact: