Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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Scotland updates on Covid-19 information for people with diabetes

This page is specifically about guidance for people affected by diabetes in Scotland. We'll continue to share relevant information provided by the Scottish Government, NHS Scotland and other providers.

We have more information and advice about how coronavirus (Covid-19) can affect people living with diabetes, including what to do if you become unwell and what self-isolating and shielding mean. This is being updated regularly with new information as it becomes available. 

Updates from the Scottish Government

The Scottish Government's coronavirus guidance for people with diabetes was updated on 23 September and is available on the Scottish Government website.

From 1 August, shielding will be paused in Scotland. From this date people who have been shielding can follow the same guidelines as the general population. They are urged to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures and washing hands frequently.

To keep up to date with the latest social distancing and lockdown guidance in Scotland, visit the Scottish Government's Coronavirus website

The Scottish Government's route map for easing lockdown restrictions published on 21 May can also be found on its website.  


In Scotland the guidance states that if you can work from home, you should. If it is not possible, the Scottish Government's has published guidance for how to return to work safely. You can also access the guidance for individual risk assessment for the workplace.

On 15 May we wrote a letter to Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture, Fiona Hyslop MSP, to ask for clearer and more robust protections for employees living with diabetes. 

On 30 May, the Cabinet Secretary replied to us. You can read her response (PDF, 341KB) in full. 

Guidance cited includes the Scottish Government and STUC joint statement on COVID 19 Fair Work Principles.

Further advice to workers on COVID-19 and their employment rights, such as statutory sick pay, is available on the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) website. 

The Scottish Government is using powers from the UK Coronavirus Bill to make it a criminal offence to flout the strict public health guidance that is helping save lives. This means that every person in Scotland, including businesses, are now required by law to follow necessary physical distancing measures to slow the spread of coronavirus. Full details of the guidance are available.

Diabetes Scotland is working with Diabetes UK colleagues to urge the UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma MP, to ensure that people who are ‘clinically vulnerable’, including people with diabetes, have the right to stay home if they do not feel safe returning to work. 

If an employer cannot facilitate this and the employee still has concerns, they should have access to fair remuneration such as the furlough scheme. This will mean that people who are at risk do not face the unenviable choice of weighing up their health or financial security. 

Updates from NHS Scotland

We encourage everyone who with diabetes to get their flu vaccine this year.  In the coming weeks, notifications should be sent to all those who are eligible for a flu vaccine with instructions on how to get your vaccine.  This may be a different process to previous years.  More information can be found on the NHS Inform website

Diabetic Retinopathy Screening is resuming with people who are a higher priority invited for appointments first.  Routine screening will recommence once NHS Scotland has caught up with appointments for these participants. Further information can be found on NHS Inform.

While you are waiting for you next screening appointment, it is important to be extra vigilant in taking care of yourself at home, be aware of any new symptoms and contact your healthcare team if you have any concerns. 

Patient advice from Scottish Diabetes Foot Action Group (Word, 76KB). Please be vigilant in checking your feet and seek professional advice if you notice anything unusual.  

NHS Borders Diabetes Covid-19 guidance (Word, 35KB)

NHS Greater Greater Glasgow and Clyde Diabetes Covid-19 guidance (Word, 18KB)

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Eating Well During Covid-19 

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Podiatry Briefing April 2020 (PDF, 275KB)

My Diabetes My Way

You can keep track of your diabetes records at home when you register for free with My Diabetes My Way. As well as accessing your recent test results, you can also complete diabetes education courses and read the latest guidance and advice. Simply click on the register button under My Diabetes to sign-up for the first time.  

Other information

Visit the Ready Scotland website for information on where to find additional support e.g. National Assistance Helpline, debt advice and domestic abuse. 

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