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Coronavirus: specific advice for people living with diabetes

To avoid catching or spreading Coronavirus

Having Diabetes does NOT mean you are more likely to catch Coronavirus.  However, if you do catch Coronaviruses, it can cause more severe symptoms and complications in people with diabetes. More severe symptoms are also likely in older people, and those with other long-term conditions such as cancer or chronic lung disease.

New measures have been implemented to control the spread of the virus due to a rise in cases of coronavirus. The new restrictions apply to household visits and closing times for hospitality settings.

These include:

Inside people’s homes:

·         Do not meet people from any other households in your home or another person’s home socially, unless they are in your extended household

·         These rules also apply to children

·         Children whose parents do not live in the same household can move between homes, as can non-cohabiting couples

·         Very limited exemptions apply for childcare, and for tradespeople

Private gardens or public outdoors spaces

·         A maximum of six people from two households can meet in outdoor spaces

·         You should limit as far as possible the total number of households you meet in a day

·         Under-12s do not count towards the maximum number of households or number of people who can meet outdoors. Under-12s do not have to physically distance

·         A maximum of six 12 to 17 year olds can meet in outdoor spaces, with no household limit. Physical distancing is still required

Indoors in public spaces

·         A maximum of six people from two households can meet in public indoor spaces such as cafes, pubs and restaurants

·         Children under 12 from those two households do not count towards the limits


·         Pubs, restaurants and all hospitality settings will be required to close at 10pm

·         Table service will continue to be required in all hospitality premises

Car sharing

·         You should only car share with members of your own, or extended, household, and follow guidance when there is no alternative


·         You must continue to work from home where practicable


To read more about the specific details of these new measures, please see the Scottish Government’s update here. Due to local outbreaks or clusters of coronavirus cases, some areas may have to follow additional measures. To keep up to date with local guidance and measures, please see the Scottish Government website here.


You should still continue to:

·         wear a face covering

·         avoid crowded places

·         clean hands and surfaces regularly

·         stay 2m away from other people

·         self-isolate and book a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms


If your GP is closed, phone NHS 24 (111). In addition, it is now recommended that all individuals living in the same household as a symptomatic person should self-isolate for 14 days (household isolation). Information on COVID-19, including “stay at home” advice for people who are self-isolating and their households, can be found on NHS Inform.


If you have diabetes and start to feel unwell you need to follow the sick day rules for type 1 or type 2 and check your blood glucose frequently.


Other TIPS to keep safe and well

If you have type 1 diabetes

  • Ensure you have enough glucose and ketone testing equipment
  • Be aware of you sick day rules provided by your diabetes educator team
  • Make sure you have a good stock of insulin pens, needles and any other medications you are prescribed
  • Stay hydrated – have plenty of unsweetened drinks and eat little and often
  • If you are an insulin pump user you should have insulin pens as a backup and a good supply of insulin pump consumables
  • Make sure your diabetes technical device  (insulin pump /continuous glucose monitor/Freestyle Libre device is in good working order and if you have any concerns phone the company who supplies your device directly to troubleshoot and arrange a replacement if necessary.

If you have type 2 diabetes

  • Ensure you have enough glucose testing equipment and if appropriate ketone testing strips (this might be if you have had your diabetes for a long time or have had ketones in the past). Ketones are uncommon in type 2 but remain a risk if glucose is high for a significant time &/or during illness. 
  • Make sure you have a good stock of your medications, orals tablets &/or injectable therapies. 
  • Be aware of you sick day rules provided by your diabetes educator team
  • Stay hydrated – have plenty of unsweetened drinks and eat little and often


Shielding advice

At the moment, people who have been shielding can now follow the same advice as everyone else in Scotland. However this advice may change due to increased cases of coronavirus so please keep checking the Scottish Government website for further updates.  

Last updated: 01/10/2020

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