Follow Government advice to protect yourselves and others – stay at home unless essential to leave. 

You should only leave the house for one of four  reasons:

  • Shopping for basic necessities, for example, food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
  • One form of exercise a day, for example, a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
  • Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home


  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get back home
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards. If  you outside keep a two-metre distance


If you need medical help for any reason, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature or a new, continuous cough), use the 111 coronavirus service.

If you need help or advice not related to coronavirus:

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  • For health information and advice, use the NHS website or GP surgery website
  • For urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service – only call 111 if you’re unable to get help online
  • For life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance


  • Organisations there to help older people, and those caring for the over-70s

Age Scotland www.ageuk.org.uk/scotland

Telephone Age Scotland Helpline 0800 1244 222

  • Pregnant women

Health guidance for pregnant women and maternity professionals looking after them has been produced by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.


Guidance is also available as part of the general Q&A on the NHS Inform website www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19#common-questions

  • Those with a disability

Disability Information Scotland runs a helpline and hosts useful information.www.disabilityscot.org.uk/

  • Those who are worried about losing their job, or seeking advice regarding employment rights, careers, or redundancy

Citizens Advice Scotland www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland/health/coronavirus-what-it-means-for-you/

Skills Development Scotland www.citizensadvice.org.uk/scotland/health/coronavirus-what-it-means-for-you/

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service hwww.acas.org.uk/advice

  • For Debt Advice

StepChange www.stepchange.org/debt-info/debt-and-coronavirus.aspx

National Debtline www.nationaldebtline.org/EW/factsheets/Pages/coronavirus-advice-and-support/help-and-advice.aspx

  • For anyone feeling suicidal or struggling with their mental health

Samaritans Scotland offers a 24-hour Freephone helpline plus an email support service www.samaritans.org/ or call on 116 123

  • For those looking for information or guidance on looking after their mental health

Check the Scottish Association for Mental Health  www.samh.org.uk

  • Those involved in voluntary and community organisations

Help and advice, including about funding, is available from SCVO’s Covid-19 Third Sector Information Hub.

  • Those with learning disabilities or their carers

The Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities provides links to useful easy-read resources on Coronavirus www.scld.org.uk/

Enable Scotland offers support for people with learning disabilities as well as a helpline www.enable.org.uk/coronavirus-information/

  • Those with dementia or their carers

Alzheimers Scotland www.alzscot.org/living-with-dementia/getting-support/24-hour-freephone-dementia-helpline

helpline@alzscot.org – 0808 808 3000



There are other ways you can contribute to the national response to coronavirus. You can sign up to become a Red Cross community reserve volunteer – go to reserves.redcross.org.uk/

Donate to the National Emergencies Trust appeal at nationalemergenciestrust.org.uk/coronavirus/

READ MORE: Scots stuck abroad face escalating tensions as they wait for help to get home

Or check for opportunities on Volunteer Scotland www.volunteerscotland.net/covid-19/

The SCVO’s Third Sector Information Hub has information about support for community and voluntary groups and a Community Assistance Directory

Or go to www.readyscotland.org/get-involved/volunteering/ 


There are simple ways you can help your neighbours without exposing yourself or them, if they cannot leave the house:

  • You could do some food shopping for them when you are doing your own
  • You could place an online shopping order for them or talk them through the process over the phone
  • You could pick up their prescriptions or arrange a pharmacy delivery where available
  • You could support with general errands such as posting letters or putting the bins out.

If you are helping with prescriptions, you should remind people that they must only order the medication they need in their usual quantities. No-one should be stockpiling.

How to do this safely

Try to limit the amount of time you spend outside of your home by picking up essential items for others only when you do your regular shop.

You should not physically visit people who are self-isolating as this would put you at risk of infection, or risk spreading it to others.

This means you shouldn’t enter their house or even go on a car journey with them.

Keep a distance of at least two metres away from people you are helping – if you have to see them on the doorstep: Leave any shopping or other messages on the doorstep, but make sure that they have been collected before leaving.

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Remember to wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

Do not place yourself in compromising positions where you may feel unsafe, for instance helping late at night.

Be aware that if you are helping someone who you don’t know personally, they may not want to share personal details with you like phone numbers.

You should also warn those you are helping not to let strangers into their home – and not to give strangers money under any circumstances.


Self-isolation can be a really lonely time. However, Government advice is available to protect the most vulnerable in our society. 

We can help each other by staying in touch – whether neighbours or friends and family who live further away. You can do all of these from your own home:

You personally can help with regular calls, text messages and contact via social media.

You can also help by talking people through the setup for video calls so they can connect with their friends and family remotely.

You can encourage people to stay mentally and physically active with activities such as cooking, reading, gardening, online learning or watching films.

Swap suggestions about how to keep busy.

If people are well enough; encourage them to do some light exercise and keep active around the home, perhaps by using an online exercise class. 

Share trusted sources of information. It’s easy to become worried by online information, some of which may be deliberately designed to mislead people.