Northamptonshire emerges from lockdown as a Tier 2 "High Risk" area on 2nd December. Guidance may of course change and different parts of the county may be moved into different tiers. We have tried to summarise what this means for Carers and will update as soon as we can should there be a change however can not guarantee that guidance changes faster than we can update our website. As such we would always recommend checking the official guidance

What do these regulations mean to me & my family?

Can I continue to provide care? Yes, throughout this pandemic one exception to restrictions has been to provide care or assistance to someone vulnerable. You can also provide respite for another carer. 
What about end of life care? Another exception is to see someone who is terminally ill or at the end of life regardless of whether you are providing care. If your loved one is in a care home or hospital, it would be advisable to first speak to staff to agree a plan as they also have to protect staff and other patients. Similarly if they are at home, it would be prudent to have a plan with professionals and family members to make this as safe as possible.
Can I attend a funeral Yes with no more than 30 people present – or a commemorative event such as a wake for someone who has died – with no more than 15 people present
What is a support bubble?

A support bubble is a close support network between a household with only one adult or a household with one adult and one or more people who were under the age of 18 on 12 June 2020 in the home (known as a single-adult household) and one other household of any size.

Once you’re in a support bubble, you can think of yourself as being in the same household so can mix regardless of tier alert level.

Once you make a support bubble, you cannot change who is in your bubble.

Are there other exemptions to covid restrictions There are several other caveats in the official guidance which aren't all listed here however they include to provide emergency assistance, childcare, education, to avoid injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm and to facilitate a house move.
Can I socialise inside? No - you must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place
Can I socialise outside? Yes in small numbers - you must not socialise in a group of more than 6 people outside, including in a garden or a public space – this is called the ‘rule of 6’
What will be open? Most shops and services will be open if covid secure (so mask wearing , social distancing etc). Pubs & cafes etc can only serve alcoholic drinks whilst you are eating a substantial meal.
Is the NHS Test & Trace App still being used? Yes - The app will helps understand where and how quickly the virus is spreading. It will be used alongside traditional contact tracing, to notify users if they come into contact with someone who later tests positive for coronavirus, while protecting users' anonymity. 
When will I need to self-isolate?

The most important symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of a new continuous cough; a high temperature; a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell.

If you have any of these symptoms  you must stay at home and arrange a test to see if you have coronavirus.


If you live with others, anyone who develops symptoms in your household must stay at home for at least 10 days – and everyone else in the household who remains well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.

How does the Tier system impact your services In theory we are still able operate in other people’s homes and also deliver support groups for up to 15 people. In practice though we are aware that many of the families we support are vulnerable as our some of our staff and volunteers so have had to minimise face to face work where possible. Similarly many venues remain closed to us so most of our groups remain on Zoom - we re constantly exploring options for more safe face-to-face work and are happy to discuss individual circumstances. 

We are aware that these are especially difficult for Carers. The Government have produced the following official guides:

Carers Guidance  Young Carers (under 25) Guidance  A guide to being active at home

Further advice is available from Carers Trust & Carers UK