Coronavirus: blood donation and safety

Please continue to donate. We are making donation as safe and pleasant as possible for your next visit.

You can still come to donate despite continued restrictions for coronavirus. The dedication of our blood, plasma and platelet donors is saving lives every day.

Safety before you arrive

Before your appointment, we'll try to contact you with health and hygiene rules by leaflet, text, email or via our app. You can also read our coronavirus health rules for donors.

This information about donating during coronavirus will help you decide whether you should come to donate.

We want to make sure that all donors arriving at our centres are well and not a likely risk for coronavirus. 

Social distancing measures have reduced the space in our centres so we ask just those with an appointment attend, allowing us to keep collecting safely and ensure we can honour every appointment.

Although families are still welcomed to give blood, for your safety and ours, rebooking when the restrictions have eased may be a better option if you’re unable to come alone.

On your arrival

Once you arrive, we will ask you some questions to understand whether you are well. You will also be asked to have your temperature checked from your forehead.

It is vitally important that you come to donate alone during the strictest lockdown measures, to help minimise social contact.

If you feel unwell or have a fever on the day, please stay at home and rebook your appointment for later.

Improving distancing

Donation chairs safely spaced apartPlease don't come earlier than your appointment time to help maintain social distancing. This will reduce any queuing and help protect everyone’s health.

If you arrive early, we may ask you to wait nearby (for example in your car) so you can come into the session at the best time.

We’ve increased the space between the chairs as much as possible.

Each venue is slightly different so please bear with us while we explore the options.

Handwashing for donors and staff

A donor carer washed between her fingers using hand gel

There will be alcohol hand gel for you to use when you arrive.

Staff are washing their hands more often and using alcohol hand gels in line with government guidance.

Cleaning surfaces

Staff are doing additional cleaning of surfaces such as donation chairs, laminated leaflets and water fountains.

A donor carer wipes down a blood donation chair

Face coverings

Session sister wearing face covering

You will still need to wear a fabric face covering when you give blood, despite the easing in coronavirus restrictions. This does not have to be a surgical mask but should cover your nose and mouth.

Blood donation staff are wearing face coverings in line with government guidance on being in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible.

If you can't wear a face covering because of a medical exemption, you can still donate blood.

Read more about face coverings

Removing hot drinks

To help reduce the time you spend sitting near other people, we have stopped serving hot drinks after you donate.

This is because we find people spend longer drinking hot drinks than cold ones.

You will still have as much time as you need to recover and safely leave.

A donor has a glass or orange squash

Testing for coronavirus

Although we routinely test all blood donations for some infections, this does not include testing for coronavirus.

This is because there is no evidence of coronavirus being transmitted through blood donation.

We take blood safety very seriously and the list of tests is regularly reviewed.

Read more about the tests we carry out on your blood.

Regularly reviewing the situation

We are reviewing all safety measures and may make more changes in the future.