Monday 23rd November: Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirms that England's national lockdown will end on the 2nd December "and will not be renewed".

Key points from his latest conference:

  • Johnson says Christmas "will be different" and he will set plans for the season later this week
  • "Many more" areas in England will be placed into higher COVID-19 tiers than before lockdown, the prime minister added
  • Johnson said "with favourable wind" a vast majority of people will be vaccinated by Easter

Thursday 5th November: Start of a second national lockdown for England.

People will be asked to stay at home. The exceptions for which people will be able to leave their homes, include:

  • for education
  • for work (if you cannot work from home)
  • for exercise and recreation outdoors
  • for medical reasons
  • to shop for food and essentials
  • to care for others

Pubs, restaurants, gyms and non-essential shops will have to close for four weeks from Thursday. But unlike the restrictions in spring, schools, colleges and universities can stay open.

After the 2nd December, the hope is that restrictions will be eased, and regions would go back to the tiered system.

What is the tiered system?

Every area of England was placed in one of three categories - medium (Tier One), high (Tier Two) or very high (Tier Three), depending on the local rate of infection. 

Shielding

People over 60 and those who are clinically vulnerable are being told to be especially careful to follow the rules and minimise their contact with others, however, formal shielding as happened during the spring lockdown (where people were told not to leave home for any reason) will not be brought in.

Anyone who was formally notified that they should shield last time and not go out to work will be advised not to go out to work this time. People classed as clinically extremely vulnerable are being advised to work from home.

The Government are advising clinically extremely vulnerable people to stay at home as much as possible, except to go outdoors for exercise or to attend essential health appointments. You should avoid all non-essential travel by private or public transport. This includes not travelling to work, school or the shops. You should still travel to hospital and GP appointments unless told otherwise by your doctor.

Although there is no official shielding in place, you can still retain their priority for supermarket delivery slots, and still be able to access help with shopping, medication, phone calls and transport to medical appointments.

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.

Can I still contact Worcestershire Association of Carers?

You can of course continue to contact us in various ways:

  • Our telephone helpline 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.

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 14 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? Carry our Carers Emergency Card with you and should you be taken ill it will immediately let people know that someone is depending on you.

You can apply for one HERE.

End of Life Care Support

If you find yourself in a position where you are caring for someone who is nearing the End of Life, we have a dedicated team who can help you. We offer emotional and practical support tailored to your needs and wishes, both before and after bereavement

To find out more please visit End of Life Carers Support or contact our team on 0300 012 4272

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.  

Additionally, you should wear a mask if you are visiting someone in a hospital or care home or are attending a hospital appointment. 

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