COVID-19 Shielding

Shielding update (published 8 January 2021)

Following the introduction of lockdown restrictions on 5 January 2021 to prevent the spread of the new strain of coronavirus, Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer is writing to everyone on the shielding list with the new guidance from the Scottish Government.

These measures will currently be in place until the end of January, but this will be reviewed in two weeks.

You should stay at home as much as possible but you can still go out for exercise and essential shopping or medicines.

In addition, the Scottish Government is strongly recommending that people on the shielding list do NOT go to work if you can't work from home.

For more information, read the Scottish Government latest stay at home guidance on their website.

Support for people on the shielding list can be found on the Scottish Government website -

Shielding support in East Dunbartonshire

While Shielding was formally paused, we are aware that this may be an anxious time for people considered extremely vulnerable and you will have questions and concerns.  Assistance and support remains in place to help you.

For any enquiries relating to support you can contact us through our dedicated local helpline:

Helpline:        0141 777 3345  (Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm)

Please only contact the Shielding Helpline or Shielding email address if Shielding applied to you.

Our local support team will link in with Council services and relevant agencies that can help you to get food and medicines and any other support and assistance you need if you do not have any family or friends that can help with this.

Please note:  If you have family or friends who can support you while you are Shielding, please use this network so that we can target resources to those most in need in our community.  Thank you.

Shielding Information on NHS Inform

There is detailed information on Shielding and the support available to those in this group on the NHS Inform website:

Support from East Dunbartonshire Voluntary Action (EDVA)

East Dunbartonshire Voluntary Action (EDVA) are providing a range of support for those in the local area who are shielding, or who are vulnerable but do not fall in to the specific Shielding category.

The Council is working closely with EDVA, and EDVA are working in partnership with the providers of the Older People’s Advice Line (OPAL).  You can request support by contacting the OPAL Advice Line or by email as follows:

OPAL  Advice Line:           0141 438 2347

The Advice Line is open 7 days a week from 9am - 5pm.
It is available to all those requiring support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including vulnerable people in need of assistance with food supply, prescription collections and also social isolation through the befriending service.

East Dunbartonshire Food Bank

East Dunbartonshire Food Bank continues to operate at this time and is available to those who are in poverty with no means to buy food.

Access to the Food Bank is by referral from the Council or from another Agency and you should contact either the Shielding National Helpline where you will be directed to one of our local team, or the OPAL Helpline

Shielding National Helpline:             0800 111 4000  (Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm)
OPAL Advice Line:                             0141 438 2347  (Monday to Sunday 9am – 5pm)

The Food Bank has centres in Kirkintilloch, Bishopbriggs and Milngavie, but distribution can be arranged throughout East Dunbartonshire where required.

National SMS Text Service

The national SMS (text) service for those that were Shielding remains in place and will issue texts and updates in line with current guidance.

To register, you need to text your CHI number to the service as per the instructions on the letter you will have received.  The service is only available for people in the shielding group. If you try to register with the SMS service but your CHI number does not match the eligible cohort (or if you text the SMS service but do not provide your CHI number), you will receive a message explaining this, inviting you to try again and a suggestion to call the local or national helpline if you need to speak to someone.

Any difficulties with registering by text then contact the national helpline number 0800 111 4000 and our local operators will assist with this.

Please note:  The SMS service is automated.  If you have urgent support needs, or more bespoke needs that you need to discuss with someone, you should contact the national helpline in 0800 111 4000 to be put through to our local team.

The SMS number can only receive text messages.   You will hear a “number not recognised” message if you try to phone.