In March 2020, the Scottish Government introduced the shielding programme. The programme was launched to protect those individuals at the highest risk of COVID-19.
The programme aimed to provide individuals with guidance to help minimise interaction between themselves and others to reduce the risk of infection, severe illness and death. Shielding was paused on 31 July 2020.
The Scottish Government has continued to provide guidance and support to individuals at the highest risk of COVID-19. The term shielding has now been replaced by the term highest risk.
In the autumn of 2021, Public Health Scotland (PHS) ran a second survey of individuals at the highest risk of COVID-19. This survey was organised to help understand:
- the longer-term impacts of the initial (March–July 2020) shielding period
- how individuals in the highest risk group manage risk
- the support available to individuals in the highest risk group has met their needs
- the future support needs of the highest risk group.
We have published the findings from this survey.
COVID-19 Shielding programme (Scotland) – rapid evaluation
In 2020, Public Health Scotland undertook a rapid evaluation of the COVID-19 shielding programme. We published a series of three reports relating to this rapid evaluation.
- COVID-19 shielding programme rapid evaluation summary report
- COVID-19 shielding programme rapid evaluation full report
- COVID-19 shielding programme rapid evaluation data report
We developed a short COVID-19 shielding programme rapid evaluation video presenting the key evaluation findings from the online survey.
COVID-19 Shielding Impact and Experience Survey (Scotland)
As part of the 2020 PHS evaluation, we ran an earlier (June 2020) online survey of individuals who had been advised to follow shielding guidance by the Scottish Chief Medical Officer.
We published the results of this earlier online survey.
We also developed a short COVID-19 Shielding Impact and Experience Survey (Scotland) video presenting the key findings from the online survey.