Here is a link to the Government website about the winter plan: COVID-19 Response: Autumn and Winter Plan 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Coronavirus remains a serious health risk. You should stay cautious to help protect yourself and others.
If you've had contact with someone who's tested positive ENGLAND
If you’re fully vaccinated or under 18 you no longer need to self-isolate after close contact with someone who has COVID-19. If you have symptoms you should still isolate and take a PCR test. Find out when to self-isolate and what to do on the NHS website.
Vaccinations for young people ENGLAND
16 and 17 year olds can now get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. They’ll be contacted and invited by the NHS but cannot book online.
International travel UK WIDE
If you’ve been fully vaccinated in the UK, US or most of Europe you do not need to quarantine or take a day 8 test when returning from amber list countries.
Although most legal restrictions have been lifted at Step 4 and many people have been vaccinated, it is still possible to catch and spread COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated.
COVID-19 will be a feature of our lives for the foreseeable future, so we need to learn to live with it and manage the risk to ourselves and others.
As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, it is important that we all use personal judgment to manage our own risk. All of us can play our part by exercising common sense and considering the risks. No situation is risk free, so we all need to understand the factors and settings that increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission and the actions that we can all take to reduce COVID-19 infection, both for ourselves and for others.
Following this guidance will help you to understand situations where there is a greater risk of catching or spreading COVID-19 and the steps that you can take to stay safe and protect others. Every action to help reduce the spread will reduce any further resurgence of the virus in the coming months.
What has changed
Most legal restrictions to control COVID-19 have been lifted at Step 4. This means that:
What you should do
COVID-19 has not gone away, so it’s important to remember the actions you can take to keep yourself and others safe. While cases are high, everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious.
This is why it’s important to:
In addition, the government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.
Whilst the government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can, the government would expect and recommend a gradual return over the summer.
You can read more about the government’s plan to keep people safe at Step 4 in the Moving to Step 4 of the roadmap publication.
The government is also maintaining key protections, including targeted asymptomatic testing in education, high risk workplaces and to help people manage their personal risk. The government is encouraging and supporting businesses and large events to use the NHS COVID Pass in high risk settings. The government will work with organisations where people are likely to be in close proximity to others outside their household to encourage the use of this. If sufficient measures are not taken to limit infection, the government will consider mandating certification in certain venues at a later date.
Understanding the risks of COVID-19
The risk of catching or passing on COVID-19 can be higher in certain places and when doing certain activities. The main way of spreading COVID-19 is through close contact with an infected person. When someone with COVID-19 breathes, speaks, coughs or sneezes, they release particles containing the virus that causes COVID-19. These particles can be breathed in by another person. The particles can also land on surfaces and be passed from person to person via touch. In general, the risk of catching or passing on COVID-19 is higher:
Some activities can also increase the risk of catching or passing on COVID-19. This happens where people are doing activities which generate more particles as they breathe heavily, such as singing, dancing, exercising or raising their voices.
The risk is greatest where these factors overlap, for example in crowded indoor spaces where people are raising their voices.
In situations where there is a higher risk of catching or passing on COVID-19, you should be particularly careful to follow the guidance on keeping yourself and others safe as we return to normality. Every little action helps to keep us all safer.
If you are clinically extremely vulnerable
Clinically extremely vulnerable people are advised to follow the same guidance as everyone else. However, as someone who is at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill if you were to catch COVID-19, you should think particularly carefully about precautions you can continue to take. These precautions are included in the guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable.
If you are pregnant
If you’re pregnant, your chance of getting COVID-19 is not higher than anyone else and it’s very unlikely you’ll get seriously ill with it.
As a minimum, you should follow the same guidance as everyone else. If you are more than 27 weeks pregnant, or if you are pregnant and have an underlying health condition that puts you at a greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19 at any point in pregnancy, you may want to consider limiting close contact with people you do not normally meet with regularly.
Keeping yourself and others safe
There are still cases of COVID-19 in England and there is a risk you could catch or pass on the virus, even once you are fully vaccinated. This means it is important that you understand and consider the risks of catching or spreading COVID-19 in all situations. While no situation is risk free, there are easy and effective actions we can take to protect ourselves and others around us. If you are worried about going back to a more ‘normal’ life, there is information from the NHS on how to cope with anxiety about lockdown lifting.
Get tested and self-isolate if you have symptoms
If you have symptoms or test positive. For most people, COVID-19 will be a mild illness. However, if you develop COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test, even if your symptoms are mild.
The most important symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of any of the following:
You should self-isolate at home while you book the test and wait for the results. You must self-isolate if you test positive. Your isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or the day your test was taken if you do not have symptoms), and the next 10 full days. This is the law. You must self-isolate immediately and for the next 10 full days because this is the period of time when the virus is most likely to be passed on to others (the infectious period). Self-isolating is important because you could pass the infection on to others, even if you do not have symptoms. You must stay at home for the full amount of time you are told to. This remains the law, regardless of whether you have been vaccinated.
If you are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
You must also self-isolate if you are told to do so by NHS Test and Trace. This may be because you live in the same household as someone who has tested positive or because you have come into contact with someone outside your household who has tested positive. In the small number of situations where the self-isolation of close contacts would result in serious disruption to critical services, a limited number of named workers may be able to leave self-isolation under specific controls for the purpose of undertaking critical work only. Further information can be found in the guidance for employers.
Guidance on self-isolating
When self-isolating, follow the stay-at-home guidance for people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and other members of their household or the stay-at-home guidance for non-household contacts of people with confirmed COVID-19. This will help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 to other members of your household and community. In both cases you must stay at home at all times and not have contact with other people. There are only very limited circumstances when you do not have to do this, such as seeking medical assistance. If you do leave your home during your period of self-isolation for a permitted reason, you should maintain social distancing, keep 2 metres apart from other people and wear a face covering where possible.
You may be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 through the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if you are required to stay at home and self-isolate, or you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate. You should visit your local authority website for information on Test and Trace Support Payments and other support offered in your area.
You could be fined if you do not self-isolate after being told to by NHS Test and Trace.
Self-isolation exemptions if you are fully vaccinated
You’re not required to self-isolate if you live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19,
DAD have rapidly adapted to ensure we are here for the many disabled people who are having difficulties or isolated. We have support over 500 people during COVID. If you would like to donate to our work please follow this link.
We have put together some useful general information on Coronavirus below.
COVID-19 or Coronavirus is a new illness that has infected many people around the world.
If you have it, you may have a fever (high temperature) and a cough. In some cases this can get worse and become severe pneumonia (a chest infection) causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. If you have a long term health condition, are older, or have a weakened immune system, Coronavirus can be much more serious.
Below are links to advice for the care sector, whilst not specific for Direct Payment Employers it may be useful guidance in relation to Personal Assistants.
Government advice on Coronavirus for supported living and home care: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus website
Advice on Coronavirus for carers; Carers UK https://www.carersuk.org/help-and-advice/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-covid-19.
Advice on Coronavirus: NHS https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/
Department for Education helpline 0800 046 8687 (8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday)
As a local organisation we very much rely on the support of our local community, and continue to support people flexibly to have greater choice and control and remove the barriers that disabled people and children experience in their everyday lives. We support over 2,000 people every year. But we need your help.