5.24 - Visiting to health and care settings

Scottish government have guidance available for visiting which can be found at the following links;

All visitors should be reminded on arrival at any health and care facility of good Infection Prevention and Control practice and encouraged to adhere to these. 

It is strongly recommended that visitors wear face coverings in line with current Scottish Government extended use of facemask guidance and must not attend with respiratory symptoms or before a period of self-isolation has ended unless pre agreed with the clinical team in advance. 

Visiting may be suspended on the advice of the local IPCT/HPT.

Consider alternative measures of communication including telephone or video call where visiting is not possible.


Visitors entering an AGP area in which airborne precautions are being applied, should do so after the fallow time has elapsed.  Where this is not possible (continual AGP zone), visitors should be advised that there may be a risk of exposure to respiratory viruses.  Visitors should be asked to wear an FRSM where respirator fit testing is not possible.

Table 11 – Visitor PPE

PPE may be offered to visitors to protect them from acquiring a transmissible infection. 

If a visitor declines to wear PPE when it is offered then this should be respected and the visit must not be refused. 

PPE use by visitors can not be enforced and there is no expectation that staff monitor PPE use amongst visitors.

Visitors should be encouraged to wear a face covering or face mask in line with the extended use of facemask guidance.  Below is the PPE which should be worn where it is appropriate to do so and when the visitor chooses to do so.

Visitors do not routinely require PPE unless they are providing direct care to the individual they are visiting.  In line with extended use of face mask policy, visitors are strongly recommended to continue to wear a face covering when visiting a healthcare setting.  Should they arrive without one, they can be provided with a FRSM.  The table below provides a guide to PPE for use by visitors if delivering direct care. 


IPC Precaution



Face covering/mask

Eye/Face Protection

Standard Infection Control Precautions (SICPs)

Not required*1

Not required*2

Where splash/spray to nose/mouth is anticipated during direct care

Encourage the use of face covering (or provide with Type IIR FRSM if visitor arrives without a face covering) in line with Extended use of face masks guidance 

Not required*3

Transmission Based Precautions (TBPs)

Not required*1

Not required*2

If within 2 metres of service user with suspected or known respiratory infection

 Encourage the use of face covering (or provide with Type IIR FRSM if visitor arrives without a face covering) in line with Extended use of face masks guidance

When within 2 metres of a symptomatic service user infected with droplet/airborne infectious agents

*1 unless providing direct care which may expose the visitor to blood and/or body fluids i.e. toileting.

*2 unless providing care resulting in direct contact with the service user, their environment or blood and/or body fluid exposure i.e. toileting, bed bath.

*3 Unless providing direct care and splashing/spraying is anticipated.