Covid-19 Advice for Carers
Carers Getting Vaccinated
On Monday 8th March, the official guidance “COVID-19 vaccine deployment programme: unpaid carers (JCVI priority cohort 6)” was published.
IF YOU ARE A FAMILY CARER, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR GP WITH REGARDS TO ACCESSING A VACCINATION APPOINTMENT.
The NHS is strongly recommending that adults should get the Covid-19 vaccine as it is the best defence against the virus used alongside effective social distancing, wearing a mask and washing your hands. Getting vaccinated means you are protecting yourself and may also help to protect your family and the person you provide care for from the virus.
Find out the answers to your questions about the vaccine here. To watch the vaccine Q&A videos in five South Asian languages, just click here. If you would like to know what the procedure is like when you attend your vaccination appointment, watch this short video.
Caring in the time of Coronavirus
On Monday 22nd February 2021, the Prime Minister announced a 4 step ‘roadmap’ out of Coronavirus restrictions. On May 10th, the Prime Minister confirmed that Step 3 of the roadmap would commence on 17th May 2021.
From Monday 17th May, you:
- should continue to work from home if you can;
- can meet up to 30 people outdoors;
- can meet up to 6 people or 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible) indoor;
- should observe new guidance on meeting friends and family which emphasises personal responsibility rather than government rules. Instead of instructing you to stay 2m apart from anyone you don’t live with, you will be encouraged to exercise caution and consider the guidance on risks associated with COVID-19 and actions you can take to help keep you and your loved ones safe;
- can attend a support group or parent and child group for up to 30 people (not including under 5s);
- can use indoor entertainment and attractions such as cinemas, museums and children’s indoor play areas which will have COVID-secure measures in place;
- can go to indoor hospitality venues such as restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes;
- can attend organised indoor sport including gym classes. This must be organised by a business, charity or public body and the organiser must take reasonable measures to reduce the risk of transmission;
- can book and use holiday accommodation including hotels and B&Bs. This can be used by groups of up to 6 or 2 households (each household can include a support bubble, if eligible);
- can travel internationally. There is a traffic light system for international travel, and you must follow the rules when returning to England depending on whether you return from a red, amber or green list country. There is also the Common Travel Area, which governs travel to and from the Bailiwick of Jersey, the Bailiwick of Guernsey, the Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland.
If the ‘roadmap’ is still on course, then Step 4 could commence from 21st June (the Government will confirm this on 14th June).
Although Step 4 is to all intends and purposes “the end of restrictions”, there will still be four studies underway:
- COVID status certification;
- Events Research Programme;
- a successor to the Global Travel Taskforce; and
- the review of social distancing.
Over time, the Government and scientists expect Coronavirus to become endemic (rather than pandemic), meaning the virus will reach a stable, and hopefully manageable level. It may have seasonal surges.
The Government is working to ensure that the country can live with the virus in the longer-term without imposing restrictions which bear heavy economic, social and health costs. The outcome of the four programmes of work referred to above will inform Government policy on living with the virus.
This is because some measures may be required even after all adults have been offered a vaccine, because neither coverage nor effectiveness of the vaccine will be 100%. As a result, a significant proportion of the population will remain vulnerable to infection, some of whom will also be vulnerable to severe disease and death.
A “support bubble” is a support network which links 2 households. You have to meet certain criteria to form a support bubble.
Once you’re in a support bubble, you can think of yourself as being in one ‘household’. This means you do not need to maintain social distance with people in your support bubble.
From 2nd December, the rules changed to widen eligibility for forming a support bubble. You can now form a “support bubble” with another household of any size if:
- you live by yourself – even if carers visit you to provide support;
- you are the only adult in your household who does not need continuous care as a result of a disability;
- your household includes a child who is under the age of one or was under that age on 2nd December 2020;
- your household includes a child with a disability who requires continuous care and is under the age of 5, or was under that age on 2nd December 2020;
- you are a child aged 16 or over living alone or with other children and without any adults; or
- you are a single adult living with one or more children who are under the age of 18 or were under that age on 12th June 2020
You should not form a support bubble with a household that is already part of another support bubble.
It is against the law to form a support bubble if you do not follow these rules.
A “childcare bubble” is where one household links with one other household to provide informal childcare to a child or children under 14. All adults in both households must agree to this arrangement. ‘Informal’ childcare means it is unpaid and unregistered.
Members of either household can provide childcare in a home or public place. This includes overnight care.
You can only have one “childcare bubble” with one other household. This means no household should be part of more than one “childcare bubble”.
“Childcare bubbles” are different from “support bubbles”.
If you’re eligible to form a childcare bubble and eligible to form a support bubble, you can form one childcare bubble and one support bubble with different households. You must not meet socially with your childcare bubble and avoid seeing members of your childcare and support bubbles at the same time.
Visiting loved ones in a care home setting
From Monday 17th May, residents can be visited by 5 named visitors (including their essential care giver if they have one), with a maximum of 2 visitors at any one time or on a given day. These daily limits do not apply for very young children or essential care givers.
Visits out of the care home will be planned in consultation with the family and care home managers, subject to testing requirements and risk assessments to protect residents. Activities outside of the care home that will not require self-isolation include:
- outdoor visits to parks, beaches or gardens
- medical appointments
- visiting day centres
- attending educational settings
- going to work
You should check the guidance on visiting care homes during COVID-19 to find out how visits should be conducted