Guidance – Physical distancing and social isolation

Page updated 17 August 2021

As Scotland moved beyond level 0 on Monday 9th August 2021, national guidance has been updated to remove physical distancing requirements and limits on the number of people that can gather within homes and public places.

Safeguards such as 2-metre physical distancing and the wearing of face masks remain in place in healthcare settings such as hospitals, GP practices and dentists. The Scottish Government has confirmed specific 1m physical distancing guidance for building-based adult social care day services, details below.

Guidance links

Physical distancing in Adult Day Services

Safeguards such as 2-metre physical distancing and the wearing of face masks remain in place in healthcare settings such as hospitals, GP practices and dentists. In line with level zero, and to support reopening of services that were unable to open, or could open only at limited capacity, the Scottish Government confirmed Adult Day Services were able to move to a position of 1 metre physical distancing.

As these services had previously moved to 1 metre physical distancing to enable reopening, social care staff working within these services can continue to operate with 1 metre between themselves and those they provide care or support to.

However, staff should be mindful that the greater the physical distancing the greater the risk mitigation. As such staff should maintain a 2 metre physical distancing wherever possible. Maintaining a greater physical distance provides a higher level of protection against COVID-19 to individuals that may still be vulnerable and minimise the risk of asymptomatic transmission.

This exemption to the 2m physical distancing guidance currently only applies to adult social care building based day services. Health and social care staff in other health and social care settings should continue to follow guidance specific to their environment.

If you have any queries about the changes to physical distancing measures, or how these may impact day services, please contact emma.shepherd@gov.scot.

Self-isolation exemptions

The Scottish Government has published guidance on self-isolation exemptions for health and social care. This guidance is under review and is expected to be updated shortly. Until further updates are available, health and social care staff should follow existing procedures:

  • If you are a contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID 19, and you are asymptomatic, you should work from home for 10 days if you are able to.
  • If, after discussion with your manager, you are unable to work from home, Special Leave arrangements will apply.