Vaccination


Most carers were prioritised for COVID vaccinations and boosters alongside at risk groups. Although most people are now 'fully' vaccinated, some at risks will be offered a spring booster vaccination. Whilst this does not cover carers specifically (unless you are in one of the listed groups), it may apply to the person you care for.

Those being offered a spring booster are:

  • Care home residents
  • People aged 75 and over
  • Those with a weakened immune system aged 12 and over 

The NHS will contact you and invite you to book your spring booster when it’s due.

Testing

Free testing is ending for the general public from 1 April 2022 - this includes most carers unless within the specific groups where free testing is being retained. These groups include those at very high risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID or working for NHS or social care organisations.

Free symptomatic testing will be provided for:

  • Patients in hospital.
  • People who are eligible for community COVID-19 treatments because they are at higher risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19. People in this group will be contacted directly and sent lateral flow tests to keep at home for use if they have symptoms.
  • People living or working in some high-risk settings. For example, staff in adult social care services such as homecare organisations and care homes, and residents in care homes and extra care and supported living services, NHS workers and those working and living in hospices, and prisons.
  • People will also be tested before being discharged from hospital into care homes, hospices.

Free asymptomatic lateral flow testing will continue from April in some high-risk settings, this includes:

  • Patient-facing staff in the NHS and NHS-commissioned Independent Healthcare Providers
  • Staff in hospices and adult social care services, such as homecare organisations and care homes
  • A small number of care home visitors who provide personal care
  • Staff in some prisons and places of detention and in high risk domestic abuse refuges and homelessness settings.
  • In addition, testing will be provided for residential SEND, care home staff and residents during an outbreak and for care home residents upon admission. 

Further information 

What do COVID regulations mean to me & my family?

All legal restrictions have now been removed alongside testing for the general public. The Government have announced taht they want to "begin to manage the virus like other respiratory infections".

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. 
Can I visit loved-ones in hospital or care homes?

This has now been relaxed but if you are planning to visit, or accompany someone to, a care home, hospice, hospital or other healthcare setting, you should check if they have any specific requirements. 

Can I attend a funeral Yes - there is no longer a maximum number of guests
Can I socialise  Yes both inside & outside - all venues can open
Is there any advice on how to meet safely indoors?

Make sure the space is well ventilated.

Open windows and doors or take other action to let in plenty of fresh air. Bringing fresh air into a room and removing older stale air that may contain virus particles reduces the chance of spreading COVID-19. The more fresh air that is brought inside, the quicker any airborne virus will be removed from the room.

Wash hands and clean surfaces regularly to remove virus particles.

Can carers still test for Covid?

Free testing is ending for the general public from 1 April 2022 - this includes most carers unless within the specific groups where free testing is being retained. These groups include those at very high risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID or working for NHS or social care organisations.

Further information 

When will I need to self-isolate?

From 1 April 2022, updated guidance will advise people with symptoms of a respiratory infection, including COVID-19, and a high temperature or who feel unwell, to try stay at home and avoid contact with other people, until they feel well enough to resume normal activities and they no longer have a high temperature.

From 1 April 2022, anyone with a positive COVID-19 test result will be advised to try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for five days, which is when they are most infectious.

Children and young people who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people, where they can. They can go back to school, college or childcare when they no longer have a high temperature, and they are well enough to attend

Although the legal need to self-isolated has ended in England, the Government advise that you should avoid meeting people at higher risk from COVID-19 for 10 full days.

This starts from the day your symptoms started or, if you do not have symptoms, from the day you got a positive test result.

Guidance

What about Northamptonshire Carers services? Services, such as ours are following guidance which is largely based on delivering services normally whilst providing reassurance by being mindful over social distancing and you are free to wear a mask even if not legally mandated. We do ask that people do not attend event in-person  if advised to isolate and or showing COVID-symptoms. 

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  British Sign Language

Further advice is available from Carers Trust & Carers UK

Multilingual information on coronavirus is available via Doctors of the World