Beating bowel cancer together

Scotland extends shielding advice until end of July

The Scottish Government has this afternoon extended its shielding advice for people living in Scotland until 31 July.  

It has also announced that in the coming weeks – if infection rates are low enough – advice regarding exercise for people who are shielding will change to allow this group to go outside for daily exercise from 18 June. While this is not yet guaranteed, it’s a development many people have been hoping for and is likely to be possible. 

This change is because health advisers believe the chance of catching coronavirus when you are outdoors, keeping two metres away from anyone else and not meeting with other people, is very low.  

Bowel Cancer UK welcomes today’s update, which carries clear guidance for people who are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus in Scotland. The advice is based on recommendations from the Scottish Government’s clinical and scientific advisory groups. 

We completely understand that many people are feeling anxious about the next steps, having already shielded for 12 weeks. This is of course guidance, and you should always do what feels right for you. 

Those who are shielding in Scotland will continue to receive the support they have been getting, including free weekly food boxes, access to priority supermarket delivery slots, pharmacy deliveries, or other support through Local Authorities, based on personal circumstances. 

The Scottish Government will continue to take expert advice, and infection levels will be continually monitored to make sure its decisions are the right ones. It is also working to develop tools for patients and clinicians to get a better sense of the individual risk they face, including factors relating to their age, ethnicity and condition.

Genevieve Edwards, Chief Executive of Bowel Cancer UK, said: “We welcome this very clear update from the Scottish Government to those who are at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus. Around 3,700 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer in Scotland every year, and many of these will be shielding because of the disease.  

“It’s incredibly important that people who have already been shielding for many weeks understand the reasons why they’re being asked to continue to do so, and that this is based on scientific evidence. We’re really pleased the Scottish Government has given notice and outlined the steps it plans to take in the coming weeks so people can make informed decisions about their health. 

“We’re also delighted at the move towards creating more tailored advice based on people’s individual circumstances, and urge all UK governments to follow suit.”

Please remember that the guidance is different for people in England and Wales, who were last week advised they could leave their homes once a day for exercise from 1 June. 

Our website is updated with the latest information on coronavirus, and this will include the Scottish Government’s updated guidance and frequently asked questions on how to take exercise outdoors safely, as soon as it’s made available. 


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