Covid-19 guidance for Personal Assistants

Following the pandemic, there are now no official Covid-19 rules or restrictions in Scotland. However, this page includes some things you may wish to consider around Covid-19 as a Personal Assistant. 


General hygiene measures 

The Scottish Government have recognised that we are now living with COVID-19 as a respiratory illness like cold or flu. 

They advise following simple hygiene measures to avoid the risk of infection, like: 

  • trying to stay at home if you have symptoms 
  • if you have symptoms and do need to go out, wear a well-fitting face covering 
  • get the vaccine if offered to give you the best possible protection 
  • wash your hands regularly 
  • meet in well-ventilated spaces. 

 You can find more suggestions for how to stay well at the link at the bottom of this page. 



‘Self-isolating’ (staying at home) is no longer a legal requirement. But you should still tell your employer if you suspect you have Covid or have tested positive. If you feel fit to work, it is usually up to your employer whether they are happy for you to do so. There may be a clause in your employment contract that sets out what rights your employer has to determine if you are fit for work, and what will happen if they decide you are not fit to work – for example placing you on sick leave.  

Check with your employer about what is in your contract, if you have any questions about whether you’re able to work. 


Face masks 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including face masks, is no longer available for free to people working in social care.  

Your employer may have a policy about the use of face masks and PPE which says that they require you to wear PPE when working for them. 

It is your employer’s responsibility to provide you with PPE if needed for your role. 

If you need advice about how to discuss the issue of face coverings with your employer, you can contact the ACAS helpline on 0300 123 1100. The helpline is open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. 

You can find more advice from ACAS at the link at the bottom of this page. 

A Face Covering Exemption Card scheme, delivered by Disability Equality Scotland, closed on 22 September 2023. Cards already in circulation can continue to be used, with no time limit on their use. 



Routine free testing for Covid-19 is no longer available. 

You can buy Covid-19 tests from pharmacies, supermarkets and online if you suspect you have Covid-19 and want to check. 

Your employer may have a Covid-19 policy in place which sets out if they require testing. It is your employer’s responsibility to provide you with tests if this is a required part of your role. 



Only certain groups of people are eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine on the NHS, and who is eligible may change from time to time.

If you are eligible for a vaccine, you will receive an invitation to book a vaccine directly. You can find out more about who will be invited to get a vaccine on the NHS Inform website 

If your employer wants their PAs to be vaccinated to protect their own health, they should discuss this with you and listen to your views, especially if you have any concerns about getting the vaccine. Your employer cannot force you to get a Covid-19 vaccine.  

Check out the factsheet from the Independent Living Group, ‘Can I insist that my PA gets the coronavirus vaccine’? at the bottom of this page for more information.  


If you are eligible for a vaccine and wish to take it up, speak to your Employer about taking time off work to get it.  

You can check if you are eligible for winter vaccines, including Covid-19 and flu, at the NHS Inform website

Some local health boards are offering drop-in clinics for people eligible for the vaccine. You can find more information on the NHS Inform website.  


Long covid 

Some people who have had Covid-19 continue to experience symptoms that last for a long time after the infection. This is known as ‘long covid’. 

If you have long covid and need support to be able to continue to do your job, speak to your employer.  

You can find advice from ACAS on long covid in the link at the bottom of this page. 


Next steps 

Take a look at the resources available below to guide you in more detail. 

Part of
Last Updated
11 June 2024
First Published
23 November 2023
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Please note that the information contained in this Handbook is provided for guidance purposes only. Every reasonable effort is made to make the information accurate and up to date, but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by Self Directed Support Scotland or any other contributing party.

The information does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice. You are strongly advised to obtain specific, personal and professional advice from a lawyer about employment law matters, or an accountant/ tax specialist about taxation matters, and from HMRC and your insurers. You should not rely solely on the information in this Handbook. Support organisations listed in this Handbook can help you find appropriate sources of advice.