Covid-19 Advice for Carers
Birmingham Carers Hub is available on our main telephone contact number: 0333 006 9711 operational between the times of 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday to support you in your caring role. You can also email our advisors: firstname.lastname@example.org
We have recently produced a What IF plan and a What IF plan template. It’s a simple guide which may help families plan and record useful information for emergency situations that may arise, meaning you are unable to provide care. Take a look – it could be a way giving you a little extra peace of mind at this time.
This is an increasingly difficult time for the whole community but the challenges facing those caring for a loved one, are ten-fold. We’re in daily contact with our partner agencies including local authorities and NHS staff. We all recognise and appreciate the critical role you undertake every minute of every day and we are working together to keep you fully supported and safe.
Caring in the time of Coronavirus
Because infection rates continue to rise in Birmingham and across the country, from Thursday 5th November, new rules have been introduced. These are expected to be in place until early December 2020. In short, we must all:
- Stay at home, except for specific purposes; and
- Avoid meeting people we do not live with.
We cannot leave or be outside of our home except for specific purposes. These are:
- Caring and meeting others
We can leave home to provide care for vulnerable people, to provide emergency assistance, attend a support group (of up to 15 people), or receive respite care. We can visit people in our support bubble, or to provide informal childcare for children 13 and under as part of a childcare bubble. People can also exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place.
- Medical reasons, harm and compassionate visits
We can leave home for any medical reason, including to get a COVID-19 test, appointments and emergencies, to visit someone who is giving birth or dying, to avoid or escape risk of injury or harm (such as domestic abuse), to visit someone in a care home (if permitted under care home guidance), hospice, hospital, to accompany them to a medical appointment, or to go to the vets (or other animal welfare services).
- Work and volunteering
We can leave home for work purposes, or to provide voluntary or charitable services, where we cannot do this from home.
- Essential activities, such as shopping and collecting prescriptions
We can leave home to buy things at shops which are open, for instance for food and medicine, or to collect any items – including food or drink – ordered through click-and-collect or as a takeaway, to obtain or deposit money, or to access critical public services.
- Education and childcare
We can leave home for education (formal provision, rather than extracurricular classes such as music or drama tuition), training, registered childcare and children’s activities that are necessary to allow parents/carers to work, seek work, or undertake education or training. Parents can still take their children to school, and people can continue existing arrangements for contact between parents and children where they live apart.
We can leave home to attend a place of worship for individual prayer, a funeral or a related event for someone who has died, to visit a burial ground or a remembrance garden, or to attend a deathbed wedding.
- Fulfilling legal obligations
We may also leave home to fulfil legal obligations, or to carry out activities related to buying, selling, letting or renting a property.
We cannot meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble/childcare bubble.
We must not meet people socially except for a specific purpose. This is:
- to exercise or meet in a public, outdoors space with people you live with, your support bubble/childcare bubble, or with one other Children under 5, as well as disabled people dependent on round-the-clock care are not counted towards the limit on two people meeting outside
Public, outdoors space, does not include private gardens. The exception is unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble/childcare bubble with them.
A ‘support bubble’ is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit public places together.
A ‘childcare bubble’ is where someone in one household provides informal (unpaid and unregistered) childcare to a child aged 13 or under in another household. For any given childcare bubble, this must always be between the same 2 households.
Just to remind you, if you live by yourself or are a single parent with dependant children, you can expand your network so that it includes one other household of any size. This is called making a ‘support bubble’. Once you are in a support bubble, you can think of yourself as in a single household. Therefore, you do not need to socially distance from people in your bubble, but good hand hygiene and other measures can help to keep you and the people you meet as safe as possible.
You should not change who is in your bubble or have close contact with anyone else you do not live with. This is critical to keeping you, and your family and friends, as safe as possible.
These restrictions will go on for as long as is needed to bring down the coronavirus rates of infection. They will be reviewed regularly with Government.
Birmingham City Council has a Coronavirus information page that you may find useful.
The regulations now state that as residents we cannot travel overseas or within the UK, unless for work, education or other legally permitted reasons and that we should look to reduce the number of journeys we make. However, we can and should still travel for a number of reasons, including:
- travelling for caring responsibilities;
- travelling to education;
- travelling to work where this cannot be done from home;
- to visit those in your support bubble – or your childcare bubble for childcare;
- hospital, GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health;
- to buy goods or services from premises that are open, including essential retail;
- to spend time or exercise outdoors – this should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space); and
- attending the care and exercise of a pet, or veterinary services.
We must not travel if you are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms, are self-isolating as a result of Coronavirus symptoms, are sharing a household or support bubble with somebody with symptoms, or have been told to self-isolate after being contacted by NHS Test and Trace. The fine for breaching self-isolation rules start at £1,000. This could increase to up to £10,000 for repeat offences and the most serious breaches, including for those preventing others from self-isolating.
If you need to use public transport – to travel to work for example – please follow the safer travel guidance. This includes the rules on wearing face coverings and advice on car sharing.