Background and further information


Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China. Clinical presentation may range from mild-to-moderate illness to pneumonia or severe acute respiratory infection. COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation on 12 March 2020. We now have spread of COVID-19 within communities in the UK.

Extensive measures have been implemented across many countries to slow the spread of COVID-19. In Scotland the current recommendations are for everyone to stay at home as much as possible and severely restrict their interactions with others outside the household. 

Information for the public and health professionals advising patients

Further information for the public on COVID-19 can be found on NHS Inform. NHS Inform includes a link to enable people to obtain a self-isolation note for employment and statutory sick pay purposes.

Information for travellers

The general public can find guidance on fitfortravel, our public-facing website. Health professionals can find guidance on ​TRAVAX, our subscription travel health website.

Where a COVID-19 risk is identified then country pages will contain updated guidance.

Information from other organisations

Archive of COVID-19 guidance

An archive of all previously published versions of the HPS guidance and supporting resources that relate to COVID-19 is available on our website.

This includes resources that have been retired from the website because they have been superseded or are no longer required.