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03 October 2022

Covid-19: Advice for donors



As a healthcare environment, the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service follows NHS Scotland guidance. This guidance is regularly updated and this live article provides the most up to date advice.

Current situation

  • If you've had the vaccine (or booster) as part of the UK vaccination programme, you can book in to give blood 48hrs after your jab. 
  • You need to make an appointment to give blood at any donation session in Scotland. 
  • It is no longer mandatory to wear a face mask when you come to give blood. 
  • Physical distancing will be removed across all donation sessions.  
  • We encourage the use of alcohol-based hand rub which will be available at session. 

Please make an extra special effort to give blood over the coming days, weeks and months. If you are fit and well and have not been impacted by Covid-19, it's important to come forward and donate.

Am I eligible to donate?

As always, our usual donor eligibility criteria apply - see Can I give blood? for more information. However, there are also a number of criteria in place with regards to Covid-19. 

You must not donate if you fall into any of the following categories:  

  • You have Covid-19 confirmed by a positive test (PCR or LFT) 
  • You have suspected Covid-19 and are waiting for the results of a PCR test arranged by your doctor or other health care provider 
  • You have Post-Covid Syndrome, also known as Long Covid  

If you have symptoms but haven’t been tested for Covid-19 or have had a negative test result for Covid-19 then whether you can donate will depend on your symptoms.  

Please do not come to session if you have symptoms of Covid-19, flu or other common respiratory infections. These may include:  

  • continuous cough  
  • high temperature, fever or chills  
  • new loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell  
  • shortness of breath  
  • unexplained tiredness, lack of energy  
  • muscle aches or pains that are not due to exercise  
  • not wanting to eat or not feeling hungry  
  • headache that is unusual or longer lasting than usual  
  • sore throat, stuffy or runny nose  
  • diarrhoea, feeling sick or being sick 

If you have any of these symptoms, please let us know, so we can re-allocate your appointment to someone else. 

Post-Covid Syndrome or Long Covid is diagnosed when someone has Covid-19 symptoms that last for more than 12 weeks.  

If you have any queries regarding this, please give us a call on 0345 90 90 999.  

When will I be eligible to donate?

  • If you have tested positive for Covid-19 you must wait at least seven days after recovery from your symptoms 
  • If you have tested positive but haven’t had symptoms, you must wait at least seven days after your last positive test 
  • If you have had Long Covid, you won’t be able to donate until you have been fully recovered for six months 

Recovery from Covid-19

If you have had Covid-19 you must be fully recovered before giving blood. 

This means you must: 

  • have returned to normal activities
  • not have ongoing Covid-19 symptoms including fatigue
  • not be undergoing tests or follow up

The only exception to this is for a change to taste or smell, as this can continue even after someone has recovered from Covid-19. 

I've had my Covid-19 vaccination/booster. Can I donate? 

  • If you've had a Covid-19 vaccine (or booster vaccine) as part of the UK vaccination programme, you can book in to give blood 48hrs after your jab. You also have to be recovered from any reaction to the vaccine.
  • If you've had a vaccine as part of a clinical trial you might have to wait longer to donate. Please get in touch with us to find out.
  • If you've got a blood donation appointment booked before your vaccination appointment, you can still come to donate. 

Please contact us on 0345 90 90 999 if, after you've donated: 

  • you feel unwell (including any symptoms of Covid-19)
  • you suffer any discomfort or problems after giving blood
  • you have doubts at any time after donating about whether your blood should be used for patients. 

Where can I find out more?

NHS Inform have created an excellent resource on Covid-19, including a symptom checker, information about information treatments and vaccines, and advice on Long Covid.

Thank you to all donors and staff who have kept each other safe in recent times. If you would like to ask any further questions, or provide feedback, please get in touch.  

Current blood stock levels across Scotland Friday 24 May

We aim to retain 6 days of stocks at any time in order to meet the requirements of patients in Scotland.

Learn more about blood types