Renfrewshire Council

Last reviewed: 16.20, 3 Aug 2020

Health advice on Coronavirus

As recovery continues, it's likely that Scottish Government advice may vary from that provided by the UK Government for English regions, to take account of local factors. For current advice for Scotland, please follow the guidance provided by the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland.

On this page:

Keeping informed

For the latest information on Council services, please visit Changes to Council services.

Sign up and follow our Twitter channel @RenCouncil for daily updates. 

We have a recorded information line to provide the latest council service information to local people - 0300 300 0333. 

Our role is to deliver essential services and to help residents and staff stay informed, safe and well. We are working closely with Health Protection Scotland, Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Renfrewshire Leisure to monitor and respond to the national situation.

Latest government guidance

You can spread the virus even if you don't have symptoms.

Protect yourself and others by:

  • staying at home as much as possible
  • only going outside for essential food, health and work reasons
  • wearing a face covering on public transport and in shops
  • staying 2 metres (6 feet) away from other people (physical distancing) wherever possible
  • washing your hands regularly
  • washing your hands as soon as you get home.

You may travel to exercise or for leisure, but please avoid areas likely to be crowded and continue to maintain physical distancing at all times.

Read the full guidance on Staying at home and away from others.

These measures are in place to halt the spread of the illness, to protect the NHS and to save lives.

If you have symptoms of Coronavirus

The most common symptoms of Coronavirus include:

  • high temperature or fever (37.8C or greater)
  • a persistent cough
  • shortness of breath. 
  • loss of taste or smell

Find out more at NHS Inform - Coronavirus (COVID-19).

If you develop any of these symptoms, you should contact the NHS immediately to arrange to be tested.

You can do this online at NHS Inform, or call 0800 028 2816. 

You should also self-isolate at home straight away along with other members of your household.

Read more about the Test and Protect programme and when you should self-isolate. 

    Coronavirus testing

    If you develop any Coronavirus symptoms, you should contact the NHS immediately to arrange to be tested.

    You can do this online at NHS Inform, or call 0800 028 2816. 

    You should also self-isolate at home straight away along with other members of your household.

    Key workers will be given priority for testing, which includes:

    • Staff delivering NHS services, providing social care to protect and care for the most vulnerable
    • Staff with face-to-face roles in residential institutions with people in the care of the state
    • Essential workers in critical national infrastructure fundamental for safety and security, and life-line services.
      • This includes defence personnel, environmental protection, animal health and welfare, funeral industry and staff working for third sector organisations supporting people and children who are vulnerable, including grant aided schools, food supply chain and food processing workers, and workers on medicines and pharmaceutical supply, chemicals supply, energy and water supply
    • Staff directly involved in delivering other essential services.
      • This includes staff providing child care for key workers, public transport workers, postal services, financial services, supermarket workers, construction and essential public services, court and Crown Office staff
    • Household members of the above groups will also be eligible for tests where they have symptoms. 

    More on testing for key workers.

    Test and Protect

    As part of the Test and Protect programme, you will be asked to self-isolate at home for 10 days if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or you have tested positive for it.

    If you live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive, or if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, you will be asked to self-isolate at home for 14 days.

    So, what is Test and Protect?

    The Test, Trace, Isolate, Support approach is designed to interrupt the transmission in the community by identifying cases of COVID-19, tracing the people who may have become infected by them and advising them to self-isolate.

    1. Person experiences symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and self-isolate
    2. Initial assessment undertaken online or by phone, and a test arranged if appropriate.
    3. Process to identify close contacts begins.
      • If negative - the person no longer needs to self-isolate and contract tracing is not needed.
      • If positive - contact tracing used to identify close contacts and support them to isolate for 14 days.

    What is contact tracing?

    Anyone who tests positive will be asked to provide details of anyone they have been in close contact with.

    For COVID-19, this includes everyone who has been less than two metres away from a confirmed case for 15 minutes or more.

    This will be carried out manually by specialist teams over the phone, online via a webpage or by downloading an app to your mobile phone.

    Is this the only measure we need?

    No, it will not be effective on its own. It needs to be used alongside other public health measures such as physical distancing, good hand and respiratory hygiene - including appropriate use of face coverings - and disease surveillance.

    Will this affect me straight away?

    Test, Trace, Isolate, Support is initially being introduced with contacts of priority groups, such as patients and NHS and social workers.

    This will then be broadened out as testing capacity increases. The Scottish Government estimates that 15,500 tests per day will be needed.

    What has to happen for it to work?

    • Effective disease surveillance.
      There is a need to understand COVID-19 in Scotland and identify patterns in disease activity, such as local outbreaks.
    • Early identification and isolation of possible cases.
      Everyone must be aware of the symptoms of COVID-19, and understand what they need to do themselves to support the"test, trace, isolate, support" approach.
    • Early and rapid testing of possible cases.
      An available test for everyone who needs one, regardless of whether they can travel to a drive-through test centre, need to be seen by a healthcare professional, or can self-administer a test at home.
    • Early and effective tracing of close contacts of a confirmed case.
      This involves people providing information about who they have been in close contact with, supported by dedicated staff as required and technology where appropriate. This process may start before the person has their test result.
    • Early, effective and supported isolation of close contacts.

    What happens if I need to self-isolate, but don't have the space or support?

    Work is underway to develop plans for providing the support that is needed to enable people to isolate effectively, which may included isolating in another location from your family or receiving food and essential items to your home.

    The Scottish Government will work with the UK Government to ensure that between individual employment rights and the social security system, people are able to secure any necessary financial support needed if self-isolating as a result of contact tracing.

    If I self-isolate once, will I need to do it again?

    Potentially yes. If you have been in close contact with someone who is suspected of having COVID-19 symptoms, then you will have to self-isolate for 14 days. If they test negatively then your isolation can end at that point.

    If you are then in contact with someone else who develops symptoms, you will have to follow the isolation process again.

    Shielding and protecting the vulnerable

    Helpline 0300 300 0230 (Mon to Fri, 8.45am-5pm)

    The Scottish Government has confirmed that advice for people who are shielding is set to change. The Chief Medical Officer, Dr Gregor Smith, will be sending letters to this group outlining the new guidelines.

    From 1 August, the Scottish Government are advising those who have been shielding that they currently no longer need to do so.

    This means that in general, people who have been shielding can now follow the same advice as everyone else in Scotland. However, this group are being asked to continue being especially careful about hand hygiene and physical distancing.

    It has also been confirmed that children who have been shielding can return to school in August and adults can begin returning to work (although home working should continue where possible).

    From 1 August, those who have been shielding can:

    • Meet indoors with up to 8 people from 2 other households with physical distancing
    • Meet outdoors with up to 15 people from 4 other households outdoors with physical distancing
    • Go inside pubs and restaurants
    • Attend places of worship for congregational services, communal prayer and contemplation
    • Return to work or school
    • Return to university of college as part of the phased return to campus
    • Use formal childcare providers - this now includes children who have been shielding

    This is in addition to previous relaxation to shielding guidance on:

    • Stopping physically distancing from the people you live with or who are in your extended household group
    • Using toilets in other people's homes and allowing other people to use yours at home
    • Use public transport wearing a face covering unless you are exempt
    • Travelling further than 5 miles from home, as far as you want
    • Booking all types of holiday accommodation or travelling to a second home - and staying over with people outwith your household
    • Going inside shops and leisure venues wearing a face covering unless you are exempt
    • Visiting outdoor public gardens

    You should continue to follow the latest guidance on shielding.

    Questions about shielding support can be answered on the free national helpline number on 0800 111 4000

    You can find more information on what Shielding means and how to contact us if you need our help here - Shielding and protecting the vulnerable

    Support for those at high risk

    Free helpline 0800 111 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm)

    If you have not received a letter from the Chief Medical Officer advising you to shield but are considered at high risk of contracting coronavirus (COVID-19) then you can still access localised support.

    This applies to people in the following categories who do not have family or existing community support:

    • Adults over 70
    • People who are disabled
    • Those who require the support of mental health services
    • Pregnant woman
    • Adults under 70 who receive a flu jab for health reasons

    If you are already receiving support to access essential food and medicine through family, friends or a community network then please continue to do so.

    If you do not have people who can support you, call the free helpline on 0800 111 4000. The helpline is open 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday. If you are on the shielding list, you can find out more about what this means and how we can help here - Shielding and protecting the vulnerable

      If you are in a workplace

      If you are in the workplace, you should follow this advice:

      • Stay 2 metres (6 feet) away from other people;
      • Regularly clean and disinfect anything you touch frequently, such as surfaces, telephones, keyboards, door handles, desks and tables;
      • Wash your hands often - including at the beginning and the end of the day - with warm water and soap, or hand sanitiser, and ensure that hand washing facilities are available for all staff, contractors, service users and visitors;
      • All items in shared kitchen areas should be cleaned with warm water and detergent and dried thoroughly;
      • No food, such as crisps and sandwiches, should be left open for communal sharing unless individually wrapped.

      Read the Scottish Government advice on Going to work.

      Looking after your health and wellbeing

      If you are staying at home it can feel more difficult than usual to take care of your health and wellbeing.

      For tips on looking after yourself and others during the lockdown, see

      Advice for specific groups