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24 March 2020

Covid-19: Advice for donors

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At the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, we take great care to minimise any risk of harm to donors or patients. This is why we place a number of restrictions on who can donate at any given time – and why these constraints can and do change over time.

Current situation

  • Giving blood is classed as an essential activity. 
  • However, we ask you to please come alone. Non-donating relatives, companions or children are breaching non-essential travel restrictions.
  • Please do not come to give blood if you are aged 70 or over.
  • We are open, but our sessions are subject to change.
  • We will get in touch if there are changes to your session, but please check scotblood.co.uk before coming to donate.

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 you come forward to 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 new criteria in place with regards to COVID-19. Currently, you must not donate if you fall into one of the following categories:

  • You are aged 70 or over
  • You have COVID-19
  • You are in self-isolation with symptoms of possible COVID-19
  • You are well but are in self-isolation because other household members have symptoms of possible COVID-19

If you have shown symptoms of COVID-19, you must not donate until at least 14 days after final symptoms have ceased.

If you were self-isolating because other household members were sick, but you remained symptom free yourself, you must not donate until 14 days after your first day of self-isolation.

UK Government advice

The UK government has now moved to the delay phase in the response to COVID-19.

They now recommend the following:

  • All people with a new continuous cough and/or high temperature (37.8 degrees centigrade or higher), regardless of their travel history or contact with confirmed cases should self-isolate at home for 7 days
  • Anyone living in the same household as a symptomatic person should self-isolate for 14 days.
  • Travel and contact history are no longer important for diagnosis. People who have travelled and do not have symptoms do not need to stay at home.

This has changed our advice for blood donors and there are no longer any travel restrictions for donors in relation to COVID-19.

Where can I find out more?

NHS inform have created an excellent resource on the COVID-19, including an automated self-check guide which helps you find out what to do next if you have developed any symptoms and are worried about COVID-19

Current blood stock levels across Scotland Sunday 29 March

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