People who have been advised to shield because of COVID-19 will no longer have to do so from 1st 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.
A series of measures will be established to support people moving from shielding status – advice for those with specific conditions has been made available, guidance will be issued to support people returning to work and to schools, and information will be published on how to do various day-to-day activities safely.
From 1st August, those who have been shielding will be asked to follow general safety guidance, as well as follow stringent physical distancing and hygiene measures.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:
“This will be a welcome and long-awaited announcement for around 180,000 people who have been shielding since the onset of the Covid-19 crisis – the implications of shielding have been enormous for every person affected, as well as their families and loved ones.
“We have reached the point where these restrictions can be eased, so that the advice for those shielding will be the same as the rest of the general public.
“Even though these changes will be welcome for some, I know many will also feel anxious and worried too.
“I want to reassure all those affected – there will be a range of guidance and information for all those moving on from shielding status, and those most at-risk will continue to receive support. I also expect employers to fully support those who are returning to work.
“We are keeping all the available evidence under review – and if there is a significant reason for a change in approach at a local or national level, we will adapt again, to keep those people most at risk in our society safe.”
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