Health Advice

Latest guidance about COVID-19 from NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government, including social distancing and stay at home advice can be found at This guidance tells you how to look after yourself and others, and when to use 111

Further information if you have received a letter from the Scottish Government Chief Medical Officer advising you to stay at home for 12 weeks

Government guidance on staying at home

Protecting yourself and others – a short guide to staying safe and getting the support you need

British Sign Language videos are available explaining steps you can take to help avoid infection from coronavirus (COVID-19); what to do if you think you have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms; self-isolation and shielding advice and helpline information.

Emotional support

These are worrying and uncertain times. The coronavirus outbreak has changed daily life for us all in Scotland and has had a real impact on how many of us are feeling. It’s ok to not feel yourself right now. A new campaign, Clear Your Head, aims to raise awareness and offers practical tips and ideas for you to take steps to help cope with stress, pressure and anxiety during these times. You can also find sources of help and support, if you are looking for online support or someone to talk to.

What is Covid-19?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is the illness caused by a new strain of coronavirus. It can cause a cough and/or a fever/high temperature.

Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people and those with long term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

Symptoms of a COVID-19 infection

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are a new continuous cough and/or a fever/high temperature (37.8C or greater), and loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste (anosmia).. You may feel warm, cold or shivery.

Some people will have more serious symptoms, including pneumonia or difficulty breathing, which might require admission to hospital.

Advice for people with symptoms of COVID-19, including an online guide - can be found on NHS Inform

Updates from The Scottish Government about COVID-19

Information for professionals and organisations

The latest information and advice for professionals and organisations is on the Health Protection Scotland website.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Direct Payment Employers

For more information on Covid-19 visit the NHS Inform website

Worries and anxiety

Public Health authorities around the world are taking action against the coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) outbreak. However, it is understandable that many people are feeling worried about coronavirus and how it could affect their lives.  You might be worried by a constant stream of news updates, or about being asked to stay at home or avoid other people.  There are things that you can do to help manage your worries and anxieties at this time.

The World Health Organization has some helpful advice for adults and children.

The World Health Organization has also released information about mental health during the coronavirus outbreak, and recommends the following:

  • Be empathetic to all those affected by coronavirus.  Do not attach it to any ethnicity or nationality.  People who are affected by Covid-19 have not done anything wrong, and they deserve our support, compassion and kindness.
  • Protect yourself and be supportive to others. Assisting others in their time of need can benefit the person receiving support as well as the helper.  There may be people in your community who may need some extra assistance. Working together as one community can help to create solidarity.  Information on how to do this safely
  • Keep regular routines and schedules as much as possible or help create new ones in a new environment, including regular exercising, cleaning, daily chores, singing, painting or other activities.
  • Stay connected and maintain your social networks. Even when isolated, try as much as possible to keep your personal daily routines or create new routines. If health authorities have recommended limiting your physical social contact, you can stay connected via e-mail, social media, video conference and telephone.

It can be particularly important at a time like this to take care with news and information.  It is important to be updated with current information, but be careful where you get news and information from.  Information shared on social media and via Whatsapp groups via unofficial channels can be inaccurate and can lead to increased anxiety.  The World Health Organisation recommends:

  • Seeking information only from trusted sources and mainly to take practical steps to prepare your plans and protect yourself and loved ones.
  • Seeking information updates at specific times during the day, once or twice. The sudden and near-constant stream of news reports about an outbreak can cause anyone to feel worried.
  • Get the facts; not the rumours and misinformation.

For up-to-date advice, you can visit the following sites:

The World Health Organization has further information about some of the coronavirus myths

The charity Mind also has lots of information on their website to help you cope if

  • you’re feeling anxious or worried about coronavirus
  • you’re asked to stay at home or avoid public places, for example if your employer asks you to work from home
  • you have to self-isolate

Tips on planning for staying at home and taking care of your health and wellbeing.

There are also a number of helplines you can contact.

Staff wellbeing is also vital at this time, and we have worked with NHS24 to prepare this advice.

Domestic Abuse

As we are all aware, the recent measures put into place to tackle the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have had a drastic effect on people’s day to day lives.  While these measures are essential to beat the coronavirus and protect the NHS and our essential workers, it is acknowledged that those living with, or who are at risk of domestic abuse may be suffering increased levels of anxiety and fears for their safety.

There is never an excuse for domestic abuse, no matter what the circumstances are.

For anyone who feels they are at risk of abuse, it is important to remember that there is help and support available to you, including police response, online support, helplines, refuges and other services. You are not alone. 

Friends, family, neighbours and community members can be a vital lifeline to those living with domestic abuse. If you are worried that someone you know may be a victim of domestic abuse, reassure them that the police and support services are still there to help and direct them to sources of support.

In an emergency call 999

If you are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police - the police will continue to respond to emergency calls.

If you are in danger and unable to talk on the phone, dial 999, listen to the questions from the operator and respond by coughing or tapping the handset if you can. Then follow the instructions depending on whether you are calling from a mobile or a landline.

If you call from a mobile

If prompted, press 55 to Make Yourself Heard - this will transfer your call to the police.

Pressing 55 only works on mobiles and does not allow police to track your location.

If you call 999 from a landline

If only background noise can be heard and BT operators cannot decide whether an emergency service is needed, then you will be connected to a police call handler.

If you replace the handset, the landline may remain connected for 45 seconds in case you pick up again.

When 999 calls are made from landlines, information about your location should be automatically available to the call handlers to help provide a response.

National Domestic Abuse Helpline

Safer Scotland run Scotland’s Domestic Abuse Helpline in confidence – contact: 0800 027 1234 or

Further advice and support

Further advice and support is available through our website:

Our Employee Assistance Programme, run by Health Assured is available to all employees, their spouses or partners and their dependents aged 16-24 if they are in full time education. They have a 24/7 confidential helpline:  0800 030 5182

(Information adapted from: