Links Medical Centre 4 Hermitage Place, Leith, Edinburgh, EH6 8BW | Tel: 0131 554 1036

Coronavius Information

Non-urgent advice: Please note

If you are concerned or think you may have symptoms of Covid-19, please visit NHS Inform or the National Coronavirus Helpline on 0800 028 2816 – open 8am-8pm each day.

Guidance for Under 16s

If anyone under 16 has any of the symptoms detailed above, please contact the surgery and ask for a telephone triage appointment.

A face covering must be worn if attending the surgery.

Patients Requesting Face Mask Exemption

There is no requirement for GPs to provide exemption letters. If you check the transport for Scotland website, it states that evidence is not required. 
Here is the link –  – and the pertinent passage is below:

“You must wear a face covering when using public transport in order to prevent the transmission of the virus. For children under 5 years of age or those with particular health conditions who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of any physical or mental illness or impairment or disability or without severe distress an exemption applies. There is no requirement to obtain evidence in the form of a letter from a doctor or government that you are exempt. If you have a condition which means you cannot wear a face covering you need only advise if asked that you cannot wear a face covering because you are exempt for one of the reasons listed above.”

Surgery Access

Please note that the surgery is not closed. However, to protect patients and staff we are limiting footfall into the surgery.  

In order to do this, we have installed post-boxes at the front entrance where you can drop off –
Prescription Requests, Samples, Registration Forms, General Correspondence.   

We are still dealing with patients’ concerns and medical issues over the phone, by video calls, and in person.     

Please telephone reception in the first instance on 0131 554 1036 and a Patient Care Advisor will assist you.   

For the most up-to-date information regarding COVID 19 please visit the following:


The most common symptoms of Covid-19 are a new continuous cough and/or a fever/high temperature (37.8C or greater) and loss of taste or smell.

A New Continuous Cough is Where you:

  • Have a new cough that’s lasted for an hour.
  • Have had 3 or more episodes of coughing in 24 hours.
  • Are coughing more than usual.

A high temperature is feeling hot to the touch on your chest or back (you don’t need to measure your temperature). You may feel warm, cold, or shivery.

Some people will have more serious symptoms, including pneumonia or difficulty breathing, which might require admission to the hospital.

If you’ve developed a new continuous cough and/or a fever/high temperature or loss of taste or smell in the last 7 days, stay at home for 7 days from the start of your symptoms even if you think your symptoms are mild. Do not go to your GP, pharmacy or hospital.

If you live with other people and have symptoms, they’ll need to stay at home for 14 days from the start of your symptoms even if they don’t have symptoms themselves. If they develop symptoms within 14 days, they need to stay at home for 7 days from the day their symptoms began. They should do this even if it takes them over the 14-day isolation period.

You can send an isolation note to your employer as proof you need to stay off work because of Covid-19. You don’t need to get a note from a GP. Get an isolation note.

Tips for Staying at Home

It’s important to stay at home to stop coronavirus from spreading.

Try to keep at least 2 metres (3 steps) from other people in your home, particularly older people or those with long-term health conditions.

Ask friends and family and delivery services to deliver things like food shopping and medicines – but avoid contact with them.

Sleep alone if possible.

Regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

Try to stay away from older people and those with long-term health conditions.

Drink plenty of water and take everyday painkillers, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, to help with your symptoms.

Have visitors (ask people to leave deliveries outside).

Leave the house, for example, to go for a walk, to school or public places.

(Covid-19) information is also available in British Sign Language (BSL) and Easy Read.

Further Information

Common Questions

Is there a risk of passing on the infection through shared use of or contact with towels or bed linen used by a person who develops Covid-19?

You should wash clothes, towels, and bed linen that has been used by someone with symptoms at the highest temperature appropriate for the fabric. Follow the instructions on the manufacturer’s label.

Anyone With Symptoms of Respiratory Illness Should:

  • Use their own towels and bed linen.
  • Wash these separately from other people living in the household.

Don’t shake dirty laundry as this can spread the virus through the air.

I have heard that someone who attends my workplace/my child’s school has Covid-19. What should I do?
You don’t need to take any specific actions as long as you and your child remain well. If you develop a fever, a new continuous cough, or loss of taste or smell then follow the advice for staying at home.

How soon after contact with Covid-19 do people become unwell?
Because this is a new virus, we don’t how long it takes for people to become unwell. Similar viruses suggest symptoms develop within a few days of exposure.

How long can Covid-19 survive outside the body?
Covid-19 is a new and emerging virus so there haven’t been any studies on how long it might survive outside the body. Other coronaviruses survive on hard surfaces for at least 48 hours, so proper cleaning’s very important.

Is my pet at risk from Covid-19?
It’s always a good idea to wash your hands with soap and water after contact with pets. This can help to protect you and your pet against common infections that can pass between pets and humans.

I am a carer, what will happen if I need to stay at home?
If you’re a carer and need to stay at home, you should discuss the needs of the person you care for with your health protection team, social worker, or primary care team. They’ll assess the risk to the health of the person you care for to find out what support they’ll need while you’re isolated.
You should also:

  • Speak with your family and friends about who could take over your caring role if you become unwell or need to self-isolate – just in case local services can’t provide support.
  • Have key information about the person you care for easily available so that anyone taking over care has all the information they need.

If you or your friends and family are unable to care for someone, contact your local social work department (PDF,198KB) for help.

What about my home visits from health and social care staff?
If you need a home visit while you’re self-isolating, tell your care provider in advance that you’re following our stay at home advice so they can follow the appropriate guidance.

What effect does Covid-19 have if someone is pregnant?
As this is a new virus, how it affects someone who is pregnant isn’t yet clear. You should carefully follow our social distancing guidance to be safe. We expect that a large majority of people who are pregnant will only experience mild or moderate cold or flu-like symptoms.
People who are pregnant don’t appear to be more susceptible to the consequences of Covid-19 than the general population.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has more detailed guidance about Covid-19 for people who are pregnant.

I have a condition or take medicines that suppress my immunity. Do I need to take any special precautions if someone in my household is self-isolating or I have symptoms myself?
You should speak to a health professional if you:

  • Take medicines that suppress your immune system, for example, medicines you take after a transplant.
  • Are having other treatments that might make you more vulnerable to infections, for example cancer or steroid treatment.

People with weakened immune systems can show different signs of Covid-19 infection.

You should carefully follow our social distancing guidance to be safe.

How should I clean surfaces in my home if someone has been unwell with a cough, cold, or other respiratory illness?

Many readily available household cleaners will kill viruses and bacteria. You can either use a:

  • Combined detergent/disinfectant solution,
  • Neutral general-purpose detergent followed by disinfection.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for dilution and any guidance on application and contact times for all detergents and disinfectants. Always wash your hands after cleaning. Wash or dispose of cleaning cloths as usual.

Is it safe to drink from water fountains?
In general, you shouldn’t drink directly from the spout of a water fountain.
If the spout is a suitable design you can fill cups and water bottles. Spouts with ‘swan neck’ designs are most suitable for this. You should avoid contact between the spout and your lips, or between the spout and the cup/container being filled.

Social Distancing

Social distancing measures are for everyone. We should all be trying to reduce social interaction between people in order to reduce the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).

Social distancing measures should be used when people are living in their own homes, with or without additional support from friends, family, and carers.

Increased Risk of Severe Illness

People who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (Covid-19) should be particularly careful in trying to follow social distancing measures.
This group includes people who are:

  • Aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions).
  • Pregnant.
  • Under 70 with an underlying health condition.

Underlying health conditions include:

  • Chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, or bronchitis.
  • Chronic heart disease, such as heart failure.
  • Chronic kidney disease.
  • Chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis.
  • Chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neuron disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability, or cerebral palsy.
  • Diabetes.
  • Problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed.
  • A weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy.
  • Being seriously overweight (a BMI of 40 or above).

High Risk of Severe Illness

There are some clinical conditions that put people at even higher risk of severe illness from Covid-19.
People in this higher-risk group include:

  • Those who have had an organ transplant and remain on ongoing immunosuppression medication.
  • Those with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
  • Those with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia who are at any stage of treatment.
  • Those with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma (requiring hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets).
  • Those with severe diseases of body systems, such as severe kidney disease (dialysis).

If you’re in this risk group, further advice will be issued. For now, you should follow the social distancing advice in full.

What is Social Distancing?

Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people. This will help reduce the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).
They are:

  • Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19) – these symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough.
  • Avoid non-essential use of public transport – when possible, alter your travel times to avoid rush hour.
  • Work from home, where possible – your employer should support you to do this.
  • Avoid large gatherings.
  • Avoid gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, and clubs.
  • Avoid gatherings with friends and family – keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.
  • Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services.

Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as far as they can. If you’re over 70, have an underlying health condition, or are pregnant, you should follow the above measures as much as you can. Limit your face-to-face interaction with friends and family, if possible.

Hand Washing and Respiratory Hygiene

To help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses like Covid-19, you should:

  • Wash your hands more often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitiser.
  • Wash your hand when you get home or into work, when you blow your nose, sneeze or cough, eat or handle food.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who have symptoms.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin and wash your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in your home.

Summary of Advice

Everyone should:

  • Wash their hands more often.
  • Stay at home for 7 days if they have a new continuous cough or high temperature.
  • Stay at home for 14 days if someone in their household has a new continuous cough or high temperature.


Please do not attend the surgery. All pre-booked appointments have been canceled and where possible texts have been sent out to patients to inform them of this. 

If you need to see the doctor please telephone the surgery in the first instance and a telephone consultation will be arranged for you. If the doctor/ANP needs to see you this will be arranged for a mutually convenient time.

If you have an essential nurse appointment booked we may call you to ensure you do not have any of the above symptoms before you attend the surgery.  

All non-essential nurse appointments will be cancelled but we will contact you by text, letter or phone call to inform you of this.


Prescriptions can no longer be collected from the surgery. We are in the process of contacting all patients to ensure that they have a preferred pharmacy so that we can send all prescriptions direct.

Prescription requests should be made via the website, posted into the surgery via the post-box at the main entrance, or, during this time, can be taken over the phone. Please ensure that you know the name of the medication and dosage being requested.


All sickliness and letters will be posted to patients. Please ensure that we have your up-to-date address. If you have been asked to hand in a sample please ensure that your name and DOB are on the sample bottle and, if you have not been given a bag to put the sample in by the surgery, that you provide your own. Samples can be posted via the post-box situated at the main entrance.

Updates on public health advice for coronavirus can be found on the NHS Inform website, and a free helpline has been set up for those who do not have symptoms but are looking for general health advice: 0800 028 2816.

For anyone who is planning to travel abroad, guidance can be found on fitfortravel. Where a Covid-19 risk is identified, country pages will be updated.