Shielding information for people at higher clinical risk

Support for people at higher clinical risk

The Scottish Government has announced that Scotland is in a temporary lockdown from 5 January. The Chief Medical Officer wrote to everyone ('shielding notification') on the shielding list during the week beginning 4 January to set out advice.

Advice for people who have been asked to shield

They are not advising people who are shielding to stop going outside, as this is good for mental and physical health. You should stay home as much as possible but you can still go out for exercise and essential shopping or medicines. You should minimise contact with people outside your own household if you can. You should not take public transport.

You should continue to work from home if you can. If you cannot work from home, if you live or work in an area in lockdown, you should not go to work. The shielding notification letter you receive from the Chief Medical Officer acts as a fit note for as long as lockdown restrictions are in place.

You can read the latest guidance on shielding on the Scottish Government's website. This includes information on food delivery schemes from supermarkets. You can also find more shielding advice, including information about going back to school or work, on the website.

The Scottish Government has also set up a SMS shielding service for the latest updates about shielding. You can join this service by sending a text from your mobile phones to 0786 006 4525.

If you still need support

If you were shielding and require support, please email [email protected] or call 0131 200 2306 during working hours Monday to Friday and we’ll discuss how the Council may be able to support you. If you’re calling out with working hours and this is an emergency, please call our Care and Response service on 0131 200 2000.


If you, your child or someone you care for is on the shielding list, you can sign up for priority access to supermarket online delivery slots. You can find information on supermarkets offering this on the website. If you need support, please ask family or friends to help or see the links for local support under section on further information and support.

If you do visit shops or supermarkets, strictly follow the guidelines when shopping, limit the number of times you go to a shop and try to shop at quieter times.

Illustration of person being shielded at home

Other ways we can help

Volunteer Edinburgh's Community Taskforce has fully trained and insured volunteers who are able to help anyone who needs support with practical tasks such as shopping, pet care, dog walking or small gardening tasks. If you or someone you know needs help please contact them on 0131 225 0630 or e-mail [email protected]