NHS and General Advice

Created on: 28 Feb 2020 | Last modified: 06 Apr 2023

EIS local association secretaries, EIS branch secretaries and members have contacted the EIS raising concerns about the potential risks to pupils, students, staff and parents or carers during the outbreak of coronavirus  (COVID-19).

NHS Advice

COVID-19 can cause respiratory illness of varying severity. Currently, there is no vaccine and no specific treatment for infection with the virus. The information below is designed to direct EIS members to the most current Scottish Government and NHS Scotland advice on COVID-19.  All NHS advice is subject to change and should therefore be checked regularly here.

Self Isolation

It’s very important that you stay at home if you have symptoms that may be caused by COVID-19 or you live with someone that has symptoms. Staying at home will help to control the spread of the virus to friends and others.

Follow this advice if you:

  • have symptoms that may be caused by COVID-19 but don't need hospital treatment
  • live with someone who has symptoms that may be caused by COVID-19

If you live alone you should stay at home for 7 days from the day your symptoms started. This will reduce the risk of you infecting others.

If you live with others, the person who has symptoms should stay at home for 7 days from the day their symptoms started. All other household members should stay at home for 14 days even if they don't have symptoms themselves. The 14-day period starts from the first day the person had symptoms.

If others develop symptoms within the 14 days, they need to stay at home for 7 days from the day their symptoms started. They should do this even if it takes them over the 14-day isolation period.

It's likely that people living within a household will infect each other or may already be infected. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the risk of the household passing the infection to others in the community.

If symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days then people should be advised to phone their GP or NHS24 (111). Public Health England (PHE) have produced advice for people who have symptoms and are self-isolating which can be viewed on their website.

Latest Guidance from the TUC

 The TUC has produced a guide for trade union reps, which is designed to give an understanding of the workplace issues in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. It also provides support for trade union reps in negotiating with employers the steps that can be taken to best protect the health and safety of the workforce. This TUC guidance is available here.

Latest Advice for Educational Establishments

The Scottish Government has produced generic information and advice for Non-Healthcare Settings

The Scottish Government has also produced updated guidance for all workplaces. 

Latest Travel Advice

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) now advises British people against all non-essential travel worldwide. 

On returning home, members should pay attention to their health on return, particularly over the first 14 days. If they develop symptoms (fever, a cough or problems breathing) or any other 'Flu like' or respiratory illness during this period, they should seek immediate medical attention and contact one of the following: NHS 24 (Scotland): Call 111 or their General Practitioner.

Latest Travel Guidance for the Education Sector

An updated position on overseas school trips, and relevant guidance has now issued. Please see the following travel guidance for overseas school trips in the education sector.

Latest Health Advice

Where pupils, students, staff and parents and carers have travelled to potentially affected areas, the current NHS Scotland advice on the coronavirus should be followed. 

Students and staff should not be readmitted to school where this would conflict with the advice on, for example, self-isolation after return to the UK. Self-isolation involves staying indoors and avoiding contact with others where possible. 

It also means that members should remain at home and should not go to work, school or public areas or use public transport or taxis. Members who are undergoing self-isolation should advise their council immediately. They should be entitled to full pay during this absence as COVID-19 is a notifiable infectious disease. (SNCT Handbook Section 6.34).

Physical Distancing and PPE in education and childcare settings

The Scottish Government has produced supplementary guidance for education and childcare settings on implementing physical distancing and the use of Personal Protective Equipment during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Shielding

Shielding is a measure to protect people who are clinically at high risk of severe illness from coronavirus.

The Scottish Government has published revised dates for shielding. People should continue to shield and to stay at home until at least 31 July 2020. However, from 18 June 2020, as long as infection rates in Scotland are low enough, the Scottish Government will be advising that those who are shielding can start to leave their home to exercise outdoors. This advice will not apply to those who are shielding and living in care homes.

Full details on the latest advice on shielding can be found on the Scottish Government webiste.