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Carers & coronavirus

Reviewed 20th October 2021

The below information has been taken directly from the Carers UK website

As restrictions are eased across the UK, it’s important to know what support is available to you as a carer and those you look after to help manage the risk posed by COVID-19.

If you, or someone you care for, has a symptom of coronavirus such as a continuous cough, fever or a lack of taste or smell, you must keep well away from others and arrange a test. PCR and lateral flow tests, if ordered in the UK, will remain free of charge. Ensure you self-isolate and forewarn those you have been close to straight away.

Do seek medical help if the symptoms become severe and difficult to manage. Further guidance can also be found here: https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 

Getting help in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland

  • Scotland: Check your symptoms online
  • Wales: Check your symptoms online.
  • Northern Ireland: Check your symptoms online

We are all advised to remain cautious as lockdown restrictions are eased. Some rules still apply depending on where you are in the UK so check your area.

Latest guidance on easing of restrictions

Just over 80% of the UK adult population has now been fully vaccinated, but there is still a need to remain cautious as the number of cases of COVID-19 is still high. It is important to continue to follow the current NHS and government guidance, especially with the Delta variant spreading more easily. 

In England, the majority of rules were eased from 19 July, but in public places where you are likely to meet many others, you are still strongly encouraged to wear a mask and take precautions. In certain instances, such as travelling on the London underground or in healthcare settings, wearing a mask is still mandatory. You can read more here

In Scotland, most rules were lifted on 9 August, but you will still need to wear a face covering in many public places unless you are exempt. For more details, see this guidance

In Northern Ireland, up to 15 people can now meet indoors and stay overnight from four households (not counting children under 12). Face coverings are still mandatory on public transport unless you are exempt. You can find out about the current restrictions and rules to follow here

In Wales, on 7 August, the majority of rules were eased, but face masks will still need to be worn in many public places, including buses, shops and hospitals, unless you are exempt. You can find more details about the latest guidance here.

Wherever you live in the UK, you should not be prevented from visiting someone who relies on your support for care, although it is advisable to take every precaution possible. 

You can arrange with family or friends for someone else to provide the care you normally provide to the person you care for, to enable you to take a break. Read more 

Getting further support

We have lots of useful guidance on being prepared for emergencies and contingency planning. See below for more topics and sources of support to help protect those you care for and yourself.

Click on the relevant links below:

What is the latest guidance for carers?

Staying safe – FAQs

Managing food and medication – FAQs

Benefits guidance – FAQs

Practical guidance – FAQs

For the latest updates on changes to the benefits system, see our A-Z of changes to benefits, assessments and support. See below for more topics:

Protecting who you care for – for ways to minimise their risk 

Making a plan – for useful tips on contingency planning

Working and caring – for support if you’re juggling work with caring

Protecting your mental wellbeing – for tips on keeping positive

Keeping active and well – for ideas on exercising

To connect with other carers, you may wish to join one of our Care for a Cuppa online chats or free ‘share and learn’ online get togethers – offering everything from music and art to yoga, dance and mindfulness.