Department of Health and Social Care Self-isolation practical support: guidance for local authorities and the voluntary and community sector

Self-isolation of people who have coronavirus, or are at high risk of having the virus, is an integral part of the COVID-19 response and will remain so throughout the medium term, particularly in light of the threat posed by new variants. The Department of Health and Social Care (We)  also needs to ensure high uptake of testing.

The main reported barriers to successful self-isolation include:

  • a lack of understanding about self-isolation requirements and the importance of self-isolation

  • concerns about financial consequences and employment risks

  • the practical, social and emotional consequences of self-isolation, including:

    • access to food and other essential supplies

    • not being able to carry out caring responsibilities and practical tasks such as dog walking

    • impact on mental health and wellbeing, including loneliness and boredom

Funding is available to allow councils to provide financial support and to design and deliver bespoke interventions to support their local communities to self-isolate successfully when instructed to do so.

We recognise that a lot of work has been done by local authorities to stand up to the support outlined in this guidance and hope that this continued funding can help to:

  • further improve the support available

  • offer up new types of support

  • further engage voluntary and community sector (VCS) partners

  • reach disproportionately impacted groups

An effective approach to ensuring high levels of adherence to self-isolation includes:

  • practical, social and emotional support for those who need it, organised by councils and community groups

  • financial support for people on low incomes who are unable to work from home and will lose income through self-isolating

  • communications to improve awareness of when people need to self-isolate, how long for, what this involves, its importance in stopping the spread of the virus, the support available and consequences of breaking the rules

This guidance is designed to support councils in providing triaging processes and support packages for individuals who are required to self-isolate and need practical, social or emotional support to do so.

Click here to access the guidance which includes further information on self-isolation funding streams available and other support available to those who are self-isolating

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