Stay at home advice

Guidance in other languages

Reduction in self-isolation period from 14 days down to 10 days

Changes to public health requirements for positive contacts and overseas arrivals.

Anyone required to self-isolate, due to contact with someone who has had a positive test for coronavirus (COVID-19), or as a result of quarantine rules on arrival from overseas will need to do so for 10 days following updated clinical advice.

Prior to Monday 14 December, the self-isolation period for international travellers and for contacts of positive cases in Scotland was 14 days but this has now changed to 10 days following a review of the latest evidence and discussions between the 4 UK Chief Medical Officers. 

  • Someone who, from 14 December, has been contacted through Test and Protect – including by the scot app – or their Local Health Board and have been notified to self-isolate, should do so for 10 days.
  • Someone who, from 14 December, is required to quarantine following arrival into Scotland from overseas, should self-isolate for a period of 10 days.
  • Someone who was previously instructed to self-isolate will, from 14 December, be able to stop self-isolating ten days from when they were first notified to do so.
  • Close contacts include members of the same household who test positive for COVID-19 – from 14 December, they will now only need to isolate for 10 days, rather than 14.

If you have to stay at home for 10 days

  • Plan ahead and ask others for help to make sure you can stay at home successfully.
  • Ask your employer, friends and family to help you get the things you need to stay at home and stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from other people in your home whenever possible.
  • Sleep alone if you can.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser regularly.
  • Stay away from the elderly and those with underlying health conditions as much as possible.
  • Consider whether older people and those with underlying health conditions can stay in another house for the 10 days you need to stay at home.

What we mean by staying at home or self-isolating

If you have to stay at home for 10 days you shouldn’t go to work, school or public areas.

Avoid close contact with others by:

  • Avoiding having visitors
  • Not using taxis or public transport
  • Asking a friend or neighbour to get your shopping or arranging for a delivery to be left at your door
  • Not sharing towels, clothes, razors or toothbrushes
  • Avoid kissing and having sex.

If you live with someone who has to stay at home

Household members of people with symptoms of COVID-19 must stay at home for 10 days, even if they do not develop symptoms. If others in the household become symptomatic they must stay at home for 10 days from the start of their symptoms, even if this takes them over the 10 day isolation period.

Wash your hands regularly

Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds regularly and tell others in your household to do the same. You can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser if your hands aren’t visibly dirty. Dry your hands using a separate towel from other people. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Further information on COVID-19, including stay at home advice can be found on NHS Inform.

See the Scottish Government's Factsheet on self isolating.


Self-isolation guidance in your language

COVID-19 self isolation - Arabic
COVID-19 self isolation - Polish
COVID-19 self isolation - Romanian
COVID-19 self isolation - Russian
COVID-19 self isolation - Simplified Chinese
COVID-19 self isolation - Urdu