Unpaid carers and the COVID19 vaccine


On 30 December 2020, the government clarified that unpaid carers are one of the priority groups for the Covid19 vaccine. This is set out under the “Persons with underlying health conditions” heading. Carers can now access vaccinations as part of Priority Group 6 (many would have already due to their own age/health condition). In reality all adults over 18 should have been offered at least one vaccine now, if not contact 119. Young adult carers aged 16-17 may be eligible for a Pfizer vaccine if they care for someone vulnerable as per the guidance below; again contact 119 to arrange.

    Those who are eligible for carer’s allowance, or those who are the sole or primary carer of an elderly or disabled person who is at increased risk of COVID-19 mortality and therefore clinically vulnerable.

    Page 11 of the Green Book

    Those clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 are listed in the Green Book and include:

    • Children with severe neuro-disabilities
      Those who are designated Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) and were in Priority Group 4
    • Adults who have underlying health conditions (and are in Priority Group 6 alongside unpaid carers)
    • Those who need care because of advance age
    • As such parent carers, caring for children under-16, are not eligible for vaccination unless those children have a severe neuro-disability. This is because the main target for this cohort are carers of people who are at risk from Covid, which children generally are not.
    • Carers themselves need to be 16 or older - please note that that 16 & 17 year olds can old have the Pfizer vaccination and not the AstraZeneca so won't be vaccinated at the mass vaccination centre in Moulton Park

    Easy read guide to vaccines

    Easing of Restrictions


    As of 19th July 2021, most legal restrictions are stopping however individual settings may request additional measures - i.e. shops may still insist on wearing a mask (if not exempt) even though not legally enforceable. Services, such as ours are following guidance which is largely based on maintaining social distancing (>2m) without the need for masks indoors and staying at home if advised to isolate and or showing COVID-symptoms. 

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

    Most hospital visits are still restricted but are relaxing and flexibility has been seen throughout with end of life care. We would suggest contacting the ward and confirming their arrangements. 

    Care home owners are balancing allowing visiting with protecting vulnerable residents, in line with care home guidance). If needed to do so, you may be able to accompany the person you care for to a medical appointment and are able to transport them. 

    If you are planning to visit, or accompany someone to, a care home, hospice, hospital or other healthcare setting, you should check that this is permitted by the facility.


    What about end of life care? Flexibility is often applied when wanting 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 the limit of attendees has been relaxed and now depends on the venue.
    What is a support bubble?

    A support bubble was 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.

    This term is used less since the relaxation of restrictions however can be confusing as often applied to schools etc.

    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? Yes, however venues may place their own restrictions. 
    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.

    Minimise how many people you’re in close contact with and for how long. The more people you are in close contact with - particularly if they are from different households - the higher the chances of you catching or passing on COVID-19.

    Longer periods of close contact increase the risk of transmission and remember that even brief contact can spread COVID-19.

    Wash hands and clean surfaces regularly to remove virus particles.

    Can I socialise outside? Yes, again venues may have their own restrictions.
    What will be open? Theoretically all venues can reopen
    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 Lockdown impact our services? 

    We have an in depth COVID risk assessment and guidance covering all services. This aims to balance delivering our much-needed services with ensuring the safety of carers, clients, staff, volunteers and their families. 

    Regulated care will continue to wear PPE as this involves very close contact work. Other services including our office, groups and home visits will operate within COVID-safe guidelines which mean that masks are not needed if the activity can take place within a well-ventilated setting with more than 2m social distance. Staff will carry a mask and hand sanitizer and respect your wishes should you want them to wear a mask when visiting. Equally staff and volunteers may choose to wear a mask in any setting and we ask that you respect this decision.

    We may contact you ahead of a visit etc to discuss individual circumstances. Pease do not attend a group or have a home visit if advised to self-isolate or are showing COVID symptoms ahead of a confirmatory test.

    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