Coronavirus (COVID-19): Highest risk (previously called shielding)

The highest risk group includes people who have been asked to shield in the past. Most adults in Scotland will soon have had both doses of the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. This means people at highest risk are now much less likely to catch coronavirus.

You do not have to shield now.

The ‘shielding list’ and the ‘highest risk list’ are the same. We're now using the words ‘highest risk’ rather than ‘shielding’ because it's highly unlikely you'll be asked to shield again.

People on the ‘highest risk list’ should strictly follow protective measures and hygiene measures.

You should continue to follow any specific advice given by your clinician.

Highest risk survey

Public Health Scotland is carrying out a survey about your experience of being in the highest risk group. It’ll help them understand:

  • whether support and advice for people at highest risk has been useful
  • what support and advice you might need in future

You can take the survey if you’ve ever been on the ‘highest risk list’. You can also take it if you’ve ever cared for someone at highest risk.

The survey closes on Sunday 7 November 2021.

Text message (SMS) service

The Scottish Government continue to send updates through a free text message service for people on the ‘highest risk list’.

Helpline for vulnerable people

A helpline (0800 111 4000) has been set up for those at increased risk who don’t have a support network, such as family or existing community support. 

Callers will be connected to their local authority who will help them access the services they need, such as:

  • essential food and medication
  • links to local social work services for vulnerable children or adults
  • emotional support
  • contact with local volunteer groups

The helpline is open from 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.

Looking after your wellbeing

Social isolation, reduction in physical activity, unpredictability and changes in routine can all contribute to increasing stress. Many people including those without existing mental health needs may feel anxious.

If you’re receiving services for your mental health, learning disability or autism and you’re worried about the impact of isolation, contact your keyworker, care coordinator or provider to review your care plan.

If you have additional needs please contact your key worker or care coordinator to develop a safety or crisis plan.

It’s important to stay mentally and physically active during this time.

Read further advice on your mental wellbeing