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
Coronavirus infection rates are increasing in Birmingham. This means that you are now more likely to come into contact with someone who has the Coronavirus.
We are also approaching the sneezes, snuffles and aches of Autumn. So, how do you tell Coronavirus, from the Flu, or a cold?
Actually, it’s not that easy, but there are differences. We’ve borrowed this graphic from Australia to try and illustrate them:
If you’ve tried to book a Coronavirus test recently and found it difficult, you’ll appreciate that if we try to get a Coronavirus test for every sneeze, then the queue for testing will only get longer. The point being that Coronavirus doesn’t make adults sneeze. See there are differences!
On Wednesday 14th October, 2020, the Government introduced 3 local COVID alert levels, so as make the restrictions more uniform across the country.
As of Wednesday 14th October 2020, in Birmingham, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton were placed in the High category of those new local COVID alert levels. This means that:
- we must not meet with anybody socially outside our household (or support bubble, or childcare bubble) in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place;
- we must not meet in a group of more than 6 outside, including in a garden or other space (please remember that in England, children are counted in the total of 6); and
- we should aim to reduce the number of journeys that we make where possible. If we need to travel, we should walk or cycle where possible, or to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport.
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.
Both ‘support bubbles’ and ‘childcare bubbles’ are exempt from the rule of six.
Providing care is also exempt from the rule of six.
There is also another important exemption for carers. As a carer, you can, or the person that you are caring for, can attend a support groups of up to 15 participants. These must be formally organised groups which provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. These must take place in a public setting, not a private dwelling. Please check with the groups that you normally attend to see if they are now open.
The other exceptions where people from different households can gather beyond the limits are:
- for work, volunteering to provide voluntary or charitable services (see guidance on working safely in other people’s homes);
- for registered childcare, education or training;
- for arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents or guardians;
- for prospective adopting parents to meet a child or children who may be placed with them;
- for supervised activities provided for children, including wraparound care (before and after school childcare), youth groups and activities, and children’s playgroups;
- for birth partners;
- to see someone who is dying;
- to provide emergency assistance, and to avoid injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm;
- to fulfil a legal obligation, such as attending court or jury service;
- to facilitate a house move;
- for a wedding or equivalent ceremony and wedding receptions where the organiser has carried out a risk assessment and taken all reasonable measures to limit the risk of transmission of the virus – up to a maximum of 15 people (not to take place in private dwellings);
- for funerals – up to a maximum of 30 people. Wakes and other commemorative events are permitted with up to 15 people present (not to take place in private dwellings);
- for elite sportspeople and their coaches if necessary, for competition and training, as well as parents or guardians if they are a child;
- for outdoor exercise and dance classes, organised outdoor sport, and licensed outdoor physical activity;
- indoor organised team sports for disabled people, and youth sport; and
- protests – if organised in compliance with COVID-secure guidance.
From 15th September the police will be able to take action against those that break these rules, including asking people to disperse and issuing fixed penalty notices starting at £100 for those who participate in illegal gatherings. People aged 18 or over will be able to be fined:
- £200 for the first offence
- Then doubling for each further offence up to a maximum of £3,200
We can travel freely outside of Birmingham, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton, but we must follow the rules as if we were at home.
We can still go on holiday outside of Birmingham, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton, but we should only do this with people that we live with (or have formed a support bubble with).
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.