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UK Department of Health & Social Care

07/29/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/29/2021 10:11

Getting help with daily activities outside your home during coronavirus

Guidance

Getting help with daily activities outside your home during coronavirus

If you have a disability or are more vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19), this guidance outlines some voluntary extra steps that you and those helping you can take to reduce the risk of getting COVID-19.

From:Department of Health and Social CarePublished21 July 2021Last updated 29 July 2021 - See all updates
Applies to: England
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Getting support outside your home

From 19 July, you are no longer legally required to stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with.

Find out how to stay safe and help reduce the spread of coronavirus

COVID-19 will be part of our lives for the near future, so we must ensure we manage the risk to ourselves and others. This guidance outlines some of the steps you may decide to take to reduce the risk of transmission to yourself and others.

Support from your local council

If you believe you need new or extra support, you should contact your local authority's adult social care service. They can give you advice and information on what support may be available, and whether you can get it.

Find local authority adult social care services

Support from NHS Volunteer Responders

If you are vulnerable or have caring responsibilities, you may be able to get short-term help from NHS Volunteer Responders. Find out more by:

Who should help you

You can receive help outside your home from anyone. However, you may want to minimise the risk to yourself and others by getting support from either:

  • someone within your household
  • your carer (if you have one)
  • your personal assistant

What everyone should do when they provide support to you outside your home

A person should not support you if they test positive for COVID-19, are advised to self-isolate after coming into contact with someone who has tested positive, or have any of the symptoms of COVID-19. This is particularly important if you are clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable.

People providing support to you should follow advice on maintaining good hygiene. They should:

  • wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser

  • avoid touching their face, particularly their eyes, nose and mouth

  • catch any coughs or sneezes in a tissue or their elbow

  • put used tissues immediately in the bin and wash their hands afterwards

If you find it hard to communicate, you should ask the person who supports you to write down a plan. The plan should explain to others what help you need in case the person who normally supports you gets COVID-19 and cannot support you.

You might also want to take this plan with you when you're out, in case of an emergency.

When the person who supports you writes the plan they should:

  • involve you as much as possible

  • write down any important contacts (family, neighbours, friends or professionals) who can be called upon to help you

  • include information about all the support you need

  • work with local social care and health staff to develop and share the plan

Getting support from someone who is not in your household, or is not your normal carer

When you are being supported outside your home by someone that you do not live with you may want to reduce the risk of transmission by:

  • limiting close contact with them and trying to stay 2 metres away from them when you can
  • washing your hands regularly and avoid touching your face
  • making sure the space is well ventilated if you are meeting inside - open windows and doors to let in plenty of fresh air
  • avoiding face-to-face contact - sitting or standing side-by-side is better. If you need to have face-to-face contact, keep it to as short a time as possible
  • wearing a face covering (unless you're unable to) if you're going to be supported indoors in crowded areas

The government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.

Optional badges: showing that you have a hidden disability and want to continue to socially distance

If you feel more comfortable continuing to socially distance, you could use a 'please give me space' badge.

If you want to indicate discretely that you have a hidden disability and may need additional support, you could consider using a Sunflower lanyard.

If you have symptoms

If you or someone in your household has symptoms, you should follow the stay at home guidance.

More information is available on what to do if you have developed symptoms and receive informal care or support from family and friends, including who you can ask for help.

Published 21 July 2021
Last updated 29 July 2021 + show all updates
  1. 29 July 2021

    Updated to clarify that a person should not provide support if they test positive for COVID-19 or are advised to self-isolate after coming into contact with someone who has tested positive, or if they have symptoms of COVID-19.

  2. 21 July 2021

    First published.

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