Staying safe and protecting others
All of mainland Scotland and some islands are now in lockdown.
Strict regulations have been imposed to try and suppress the spread of the virus, and especially of the new strain of the virus. The main rules and guidance for families are outlined below.
You can find the full details for your area on this section of the Scottish Government website.
Physical distancing and other health measures
Any of us could carry the virus but not have symptoms and end up spreading it wherever we go. So, for now, even if we are well, we should:
- Keep two metres distance from other people who are not in your household
- Wear a mask if you are going on public transport or into shops. This applies to children over the age of five
- Maintain hand and cough hygiene
- Follow advice on the NHS Inform website about physical distancing and hygiene, and
- Wash your hands regularly
This is very important because:
- It protects your own, your family’s and everyone’s health, especially those who could be most affected.
- It slows down the spread of the virus.
- It helps the NHS manage.
If you can, you must work from home.
Meeting up with family and friends
- Going into other people's houses is not allowed. (There are a number of exemptions - for separated parents who are sharing parenting; for those living alone, or alone with children; extended households; and couples who don’t live together).
- You can meet one other person from another household outdoors.
- Children aged 11 or under can play together outdoors with no limit on the number of children or households.
- Make sure you stay two metres away from other people apart from members of your household.
Travelling by car
You should not share car journeys with people from other households.
All nurseries and schools are closed under lockdown apart from for the children of key workers or for ‘vulnerable’ children. You can find out more about the rules relating to childcare here.
When it is not safe to stay at home
For some people it is not safe at home, for example, where there is domestic abuse or housing issues.
For specialist advice on domestic abuse, call the domestic abuse helpline on 0800 027 1234 (it also has webchat and email facilities)
For specialist advice on housing, visit Shelter Scotland’s website or call 0808 800 4444
It’s difficult to look after yourself and your family when everything feels so uncertain.
However, there’s a few simple things you can do to keep yourself and your children as healthy as possible:
- Keep to routines
- Go to bed and get up at the same time as usual
- Eat and drink healthily
- Stay in touch with friends and family (phone and online)
One Parent Families Scotland has some great information about looking after you and your family's wellbeing.
Doing the best you can
Limiting social contact with friends and family is hard for everyone.
Some parents will be looking for information and resources to help with their child’s education at home; others will be just trying to get by.
Just remember, maintaining the health and well-being of your family is essential.
- What your children need right now is to feel comforted and loved, and to know that this time will pass. If you have got a garden, play outside. The play parks are still open. Go out for walks but keep your distance.
- Make meals together, paint pictures, play board games and watch films.
- Do science experiments together or find online tours of zoos and museums and other places.
- Start a book and read together as a family.
- Snuggle under blankets and do nothing.
Like it or not, we are using our screens more than usual: for fun; for learning; for working; and for keeping in touch with others. We are all be on our screens a lot more but try to keep some sort of limit on this if you can.
- Educational and other programmes online and on TV are good for learning and entertainment.
- Promotional videos are good for encouraging children to be physical, eat and sleep well and have good personal hygiene.
- Keeping in touch with family and friends is important and sometimes online is the only way at present.
And more generally, all curling up to a good film or favourite programme is a great way to have family time and wind down.
Lives in Lockdown
Some parents have kindly shared their experience of living in lockdown. You can read 'Lives in lockdown; parents' accounts here.