Update: 4th January 2021 - The UK will enter a new national lockdown from the 5th January to control the rapid spread of coronavirus. The new lockdown will remain in place until at least the middle of February, with ministers keeping the measures under constant review.

What are the new rules?

  • You should only leave home to go to work if it is “impossible” for you to work from home. You should only go out to shop for necessities, medical appointments and exercise.
  • No household mixing indoors or outdoors unless in your support or childcare bubble.
  • Supermarkets, food shops, pharmacies and garden centres will remain open. Hospitality businesses such as pubs and restaurants and non-essential shops must close. Restaurants can offer food delivery or takeaway, but alcoholic drinks will not be permitted to be sold.
  • Schools will be closed, except for vulnerable children and keyworkers. Universities and colleges will close. Early years settings such as nurseries and childminders can remain open.
  • Exercise is allowed once a day outdoors in your local area. You may exercise with your household, support bubble or one other person. Indoor and outdoor sports facilities including gyms and tennis courts will close.
  • Places of worship can remain open, but you must adhere to social distancing rules. Weddings and civil ceremonies can still take place, but only in “exceptional circumstances” and only six people will be allowed to attend. Funerals can still have a maximum of 30 guests, but wakes and other ceremonial events will be restricted to six people.

Shielding

Those deemed clinically extremely vulnerable are be advised to stay at home at all times - unless you need to attend a medical appointment or for exercise. Those affected will receive a letter shortly outlining what it means for them.

Shielding advice is not the same as during the March 2020 lockdown, when the advice was to stay at home at all times. Now you are permitted to go out once a day for exercise, but are advised to take extra precautions - keep all contact with others to a minimum and avoid busy areas. If you go out, maintain strict social distancing, wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face.

If you are on the shielding list you are strong advised against visiting any shops, including pharmacies. If you already have a priority delivery slot with a supermarket, that will continue - you do not need to do anything further. If you cannot get anyone to collect your shopping or medications, then you can contact Here2Help or the NHS Responder Team.

You should also try to stay 2m (6ft) away from other people within your household, especially if they display symptoms of the virus or have been advised to self-isolate.

You should not leave the house for work. If you cannot work from home, you may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay, Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit or the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Contacting Worcestershire Association of Carers

You can continue to contact us in various ways:

  • Our telephone helpline (0300 012 4272) is available from 9:00am - 7:00pm Monday to Friday and 9:00am - 12:00pm on Saturday.  Please do get in touch if you need any information or support
  • Our live web chat is also available from 9:00am - 7:00pm Monday to Friday and 9:00am - 12:00pm on Saturday. Go to any web page and click online in the bottom right hand corner.
  • We’ll do our best to keep in touch with carers via phone, social media, including Facebook and Twitter
  • You can email us at [email protected] 

We hope to be able to make sure that we keep in touch with carers who usually attend our monthly groups, and encourage group members to stay in contact with each other

  • We are running a variety of online information, wellness and coffee break sessions for carers (you will need a computer or smart phone to access the sessions) 
  • We’ll still be publishing Caring News, our magazine for carers. Our latest edition is available HERE.

Additional help:

For support from Worcestershire County Council Here2Help or Social Care call 01905 786053 (Monday to Thursday 9.00am to 5.00pm and Friday 9.00am to 4.30pm) or visit http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/here2help

The NHS Responder Scheme can be contacted on 0808 196 3646 to make a referral for anyone you care for or to seek support for yourself.

What do I do if I care for someone and I need to self-isolate?

If you are providing essential care, it is vital to stop and self-isolate if you start having symptoms of COVID-19 – these include a loss of smell and taste or the more commonly known symptoms of a persistent cough or fever.

If you are notified that you have been in contact with a person who has tested positive for coronavirus by the NHS Test and Trace system: 

  • you must self-isolate for 10 days
  • follow the advice in this guidance.

If you have to self isolate and are using a care service, let your care service provider know and they will discuss how best they can support you through this period.

If you are self isolating and would usually provide care, or if you support someone you don’t live with, and feel that alternative provision is required, please contact the Adult Social Care Access Centre on 01905 768053. Please be clear what support is needed.

If you are worried that you or someone you look after may be at risk, NHS 111 can offer direct guidance through their online coronavirus helpline. Call 111 if your (or their) symptoms become severe, and let them know you are a carer.

Emergency Planning

Have you thought about what you might do if you become ill? Planning for emergencies will give you and the person you care for peace of mind, knowing that back up support can be put place in case you need it. Click HERE for more information.

Face Coverings

Everyone should wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces, where you may be more likely to come into contact with people you do not normally meet. This is compulsory in any indoor public setting.  

A face covering is a covering of any type which covers your nose and mouth - How to wear and make a face covering.

You are expected to wear a face covering before entering any of these settings and must keep it on until you leave unless there is a reasonable excuse for removing it. If you do not wear a face covering you will be breaking the law and could be fined. The on-the-spot fine for not wearing a mask will be £100 and will double with each offense up to £3,200.

Some people don’t have to wear a face covering including for health, age or equality reasons. If you feel you fit into the exemption category you download an exemption badge for your mobile phone or print one off here. This will help you to not be questioned. 

Further Information:

Updated advice and information for unpaid Carers has been released from the Government. Please visit Govt info for unpaid Carers

Updated advice and FAQs on the most recent update can be found HERE

If you would like more information about Coronavirus and your caring role please visit CARERS UK Coronavirus Guidance

If you would like to read more about NHS guidance please visit NHS guidance on Coronavirus

NHS Every Mind Matters: Looking after your mental health

Mind: Coronavirus and your well-being

Here2Help: Staying at home well-being