12th April: Lockdown restrictions ease further in England (Stage 2).

Outdoor dining, non-essential shops and hairdressers reopened after lockdown restrictions were eased on April 12, as part of the next step of the government's roadmap.

Since lockdown was first eased, the UK has seen a continuous decline in coronavirus infections. The UK R value is 0.7 (any number above 1.0 means the virus is more readily spreading and reproducing).

All restrictions are hope to be liifted by 21st June as part of a four stage "roadmap". This is based on certain conditions being met:

  • The coronavirus vaccine programme continues to go to plan
  • Vaccines are sufficiently reducing the number of people dying with the virus or needing hospital treatment
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospital admissions
  • New coronavirus variants do not fundamentally change the risk of lifting restrictions

New rules:

  • The rule of six, or two households is still in place. No household mixing indoors.
  • Continue to keep journeys to a minimum and work from home where possible.
  • All non-essential shops have reopened, though retail shoppers have been urged to shop alone or within household groups.
  • Libraries and community centres have reopended.
  • Parent and child groups can take place indoors, as well as outdoors, for up to 15 people (children under 5 will not be counted in this number).
  • Personal care service such as hairdressers and nail salons can reopen.
  • Indoor leisure centres and gyms are now open (including swimming pools), but gym-goers cannot attend with people outside of their own household
  • Outdoor attractions can now reopen too, including theme parks, zoos and drive-in cinemas.
  • Pubs and restaurants are allowed to open and serve customers with outdoor service only. There is no curfew but people have to be seated when ordering and eating or drinking.
  • Self-catering holidays in the UK with your own household is allowed. Hotels and B&Bs will remain closed.
  • International travel is still banned.
  • 15 guests will now be permitted at wakes, weddings and receptions. Funerals are still permitted to have 30 guests.
  • Two specified people can visit care home residents

Shielding

Shielding rules ended on the 1st April.

The 3.8m people who are on England's shielding list will have received a letter setting out updated advice. The decision to relax the advice around shielding comes as the number of cases of Covid continues to fall. The new guidance recommends that clinically extremely vulnerable people continue to take additional precautions after 1 April, such as working from home and following social distancing measures.

Local authorities will continue to provide support for those on the shielded list until 31 March and individuals will be able to access priority supermarket delivery slots until 21 June if they have already registered for these. Support is also still available from Here2Help and the NHS Responder Scheme

If you are aged 16 or over, you should already have been offered your first dose of the vaccine. If you have not yet received your first dose, please contact your GP. If you have received your first dose, make sure that you get your second dose when it is offered to you, to further increase your level of protection. Even if you have had your vaccination, you should continue to take extra precautions to stay safe.

Covid Vaccination

For more information on the Covid vaccine click HERE to go to the NHS webpage.

If you are a carer and not had your first vaccination yet, please contact your GP surgery to arrange an appointment.

WAC have co-produced with Herefordshire & Worcestershire CCG an information leaflet regarding vaccinations for those with a learning disability and their family carers. Click HERE to read.

Vaccine update: 12th April

  • 32 million people have now received their first dose of the vaccine; over 7 million have recieved both doses.
  • Vaccines are due to be rolled out to the over 40's this week.
  • The aim is to vaccinate everyone aged 18 or over in the UK with one dose by the end of July, and the government says it is on track to make this deadline

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