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Coronavirus (COVID-19). Updated shielding advice for transplant recipients and those on a transplant waiting list

On 18 June, the First Minister for Scotland announced some further advice for those in the shielding groups.

Please note that the current advice for shielding groups remains until at least 31 July.  The current shielding advice is available at www.gov.scot/publications/covid-shielding.

There is NO change to the support offered to those who are shielded, so if you have been getting support or food deliveries, this will continue as before until at least 31 July.

What is the change?

From 18 June 2020, the advice for all people in Scotland who have been asked to shield is:

  • They can now go outside to exercise
  • They can also meet members of one other household outside, as long as there are no more than 8 people in the group and they remain at least 2 metres apart from others.
  • They should not go inside other buildings (such as shops or pharmacies) or meet other people inside their home (except for where this is necessary for any essential care or medical needs).

What can I do outside?

You can go outdoors for a walk, wheel (outside in a wheelchair), run or cycle or take part in non-contact outdoor activities such as golf, hiking, canoeing, outdoor swimming, fishing, etc.

It is imperative that those waiting for a transplant strictly follow these measures and are extremely cautious about:

  • Maintaining strict physical distancing at all times, even if you live with the person you're out with.  This means keeping 2 metres (or three steps) away from other people at all times. 
  • Choosing times and areas that are quiet.
  • Practising strict hand hygiene by avoiding touching surfaces or objects outside such as benches, gates etc., as much as possible, avoiding touching your face while you are out, stringently wash your hands for at least 20 seconds as soon as you get back home. 

How long can I stay outside?

There is no time limit to how long you can stay outside for however, it is imperative that you stay two metres away from other people, so should avoid crowded places or busy times and always wash your hands when you return indoors.

How far can I go outside?

You should stay within your local area (broadly within 5 miles) for the purposes of exercise and leisure. You can travel in a car, either driving yourself or being driven by someone you live with. Do not go in a car with people you do not live with.

Can I go back to work?

Unless you can work from home, we advise that you should not be going into work at the moment. It is important that people who have been asked to shield stay 2 metres away from other people and do not go inside any other buildings.

What does this mean for those shielding and who are on a deceased donor transplant waiting list?

This new advice applies to most people of all ages who have been asked to shield and waiting for a solid organ transplant. 

Those waiting for a transplant should contact their transplant team if they have any concerns to discuss whether any other specific recommendations in addition to this updated advice should be in place for them.

Other sources of support

We understand that these are worrying and uncertain times. You may find it helpful to visit the https://clearyourhead.scot/ website.

The national Covid-19 helpline continues to operate. Contact 0800 111 4000 if you need any support with shielding.