Coronavirus (Covid-19)- Age UK

 
Coronavirus (Covid-19) –
practical help and local services in
Sevenoaks and Tonbridge
Last amended 10 September 2020.

You will find the most up-to-date version of this on our website at
www.ageuksevenoaksandtonbridge.org.uk or:
https://www.ageuk.org.uk/sevenoaksandtonbridge/our-services/information-and-
advice/downloads/

Details are subject to change, please check with the organisation concerned. If you cannot
find what you are looking for please contact us as we may be able to help further.
Amendments and additions are also welcome.

We publish other local information packs covering:
   Care agencies
   Care homes
   Health and wellbeing
   Help at home
   Housing
   Legal advice and power of attorney
   Memory loss and dementia
   Money matters
   Social activities
Age UK Sevenoaks & Tonbridge is a registered charity no. 1088213
Tel: 01732 454108. Web: www.ageuksevenoaksandtonbridge.org.uk

Please be aware that the situation is changing constantly. If
you have access to the internet you should check the latest
situation on websites you can trust at:

Health information: www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
Government guidance: www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Age UK website: www.ageuk.org.uk/coronavirus-info
BBC website: www.bbc.co.uk/news

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Contents
Which group are you? .......................................................................................................... 7
If you feel unwell or are displaying symptoms ...................................................................... 7
    Common symptoms ......................................................................................................... 7
    When and how to contact the NHS .................................................................................. 8
    Self-isolating (stay at home and do not go out for any reason) ........................................ 8
    Support for people who are self-isolating......................................................................... 9
    Self-isolating if you have been abroad ............................................................................. 9
If you are vulnerable or extremely vulnerable .................................................................... 10
    Who is extremely vulnerable? ........................................................................................ 10
    What has happened to “shielding”? ............................................................................... 10
    Who is less vulnerable but still at risk? .......................................................................... 11
    Minimising contact (be careful going out) ...................................................................... 11
    Support for people who are vulnerable or extremely vulnerable .................................... 11
    What to do if you feel unwell .......................................................................................... 12
If you are single ................................................................................................................. 13
    Support Bubbles ............................................................................................................ 13
Everyone else .................................................................................................................... 13
Going out now lockdown is easing ..................................................................................... 13
    General guidelines ......................................................................................................... 13
    Meeting other people ..................................................................................................... 13
    Shopping and leisure ..................................................................................................... 14
    Exercise and recreation ................................................................................................. 15
    Days out ........................................................................................................................ 15
    Driving ........................................................................................................................... 15
    Using public transport .................................................................................................... 16
    Caring for vulnerable people and helping them ............................................................. 16
    Going out for the doctor, dentist, blood donation or other medical needs ...................... 16
    Travelling for work ......................................................................................................... 17
    Looking after animals..................................................................................................... 17
    Moving away from home................................................................................................ 17
    Moving back home......................................................................................................... 17
Face coverings, face masks and visors ............................................................................. 18
    What is the difference? .................................................................................................. 18
    Where is it compulsory? ................................................................................................ 18
    Where is it advisable?.................................................................................................... 18
    Who is exempt? ............................................................................................................. 19
    Situations when you are exempt .................................................................................... 19
    Proving you are exempt ................................................................................................. 19
    How do you get them? ................................................................................................... 20
Social Distancing and other safety measures .................................................................... 20
    What does it mean? ....................................................................................................... 20
    Alert system ................................................................................................................... 20
    Safety measures in shops and public places ................................................................. 21
    Safety measures in places to eat and drink ................................................................... 21
Open or closed? ................................................................................................................ 22
    Which places have already re-opened?......................................................................... 22
    Which places are due to re-open? ................................................................................. 24
    Which places are still closed?........................................................................................ 24
Testing for Coronavirus...................................................................................................... 24
    When to get tested and what it will show ....................................................................... 24
    Getting a test if you have symptoms .............................................................................. 24
    Priority tests for essential workers and their households ............................................... 24
    Tests for people living in care homes or family carers ................................................... 25
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What kinds of tests are offered? .................................................................................... 25
    Returning a home testing kit .......................................................................................... 25
    What does the test involve? ........................................................................................... 26
    Testing negative and going back to work....................................................................... 26
    Testing positive and providing other people’s information ............................................. 26
    What is an antibody test? .............................................................................................. 26
    Flu vaccines ................................................................................................................... 27
If the NHS Test & Trace Team contact you ....................................................................... 27
    How do you know if it is legitimate? ............................................................................... 27
    What constitutes “close contact”? .................................................................................. 28
    Support if you are instructed to self-isolate .................................................................... 28
    How do you self-isolate if you live with a vulnerable person? ........................................ 28
    Do you still need to self-isolate if you have previously tested positive? ......................... 28
    What do you do if you cannot work from home? ............................................................ 29
If you are volunteering to help people ................................................................................ 29
    If you are worried about someone you don’t live with .................................................... 29
    Entering their home ....................................................................................................... 29
    What to do if they seem unwell ...................................................................................... 30
If you wish to offer help ...................................................................................................... 30
If you need help ................................................................................................................. 31
    If you live in Sevenoaks District: .................................................................................... 31
    If you live in Tonbridge & Malling Borough: ................................................................... 31
    Other organisations you can try: .................................................................................... 31
Local co-ordinators and local councils ............................................................................... 31
Food and other shopping ................................................................................................... 38
    How to get shopping if you are self-isolating (at high risk) ............................................. 38
    Going to get shopping if you are vulnerable or extremely vulnerable ............................ 39
    Supermarket priority times for older and vulnerable people ........................................... 39
    Supermarket ordering by phone or online...................................................................... 40
    Food services and deliveries offered by local businesses ............................................. 43
Meals ................................................................................................................................. 46
    Meals services and deliveries offered by local businesses ............................................ 46
    Meals on wheels (hot meals) ......................................................................................... 48
    Afternoon Tea service.................................................................................................... 48
    Meals delivered by supermarkets and other companies ................................................ 48
    Help preparing or cooking meals ................................................................................... 49
    Assistance with eating and drinking ............................................................................... 49
Paying for shopping ........................................................................................................... 49
    Things to bear in mind ................................................................................................... 49
    Paying with cash ............................................................................................................ 50
    Paying by bank transfer ................................................................................................. 50
    Paying with gift vouchers ............................................................................................... 50
    Paying with volunteer shopping cards ........................................................................... 51
    Paying with other pre-paid cards ................................................................................... 52
    Paying through the Post Office ...................................................................................... 52
    Paying by cheque .......................................................................................................... 52
    Paying through Starling Bank ........................................................................................ 53
    Paying by phone ............................................................................................................ 53
    Paying using your Contactless card............................................................................... 53
    Giving someone your bank card .................................................................................... 53
Accessing money ............................................................................................................... 54
    Getting your pension or benefits if you have a Post Office Card Account...................... 54
    Getting your pension or benefits if you do not have a Post Office Card Account or bank
    account .......................................................................................................................... 54
                                                                                                                                        3
Getting hold of your bank on the phone ......................................................................... 55
   Getting your money from the bank yourself ................................................................... 56
   Getting your money through Post Offices ...................................................................... 56
   Getting your money from the bank through someone else ............................................ 58
   Third Party Mandates .................................................................................................... 58
   Joint Accounts ............................................................................................................... 59
   Power of Attorney .......................................................................................................... 59
Social contact .................................................................................................................... 59
   Regular phone calls to make sure you’re OK ................................................................ 59
   Befriending for people who are lonely............................................................................ 60
   Day centres, lunch clubs, coffee mornings and befriending........................................... 60
   Goldies Live singalong sessions .................................................................................... 61
Religious support ............................................................................................................... 61
   Daily Hope phoneline..................................................................................................... 61
   Interfaith Network .......................................................................................................... 61
   Kent Muslim Welfare Association Volunteers Group ..................................................... 61
   Rochester Gurdwara (Hindu temple). ............................................................................ 61
Health & wellbeing ............................................................................................................. 61
   Useful advice ................................................................................................................. 61
   Stay connected, video calls and computers................................................................... 61
   Fill your time .................................................................................................................. 62
   Be as active as you can ................................................................................................. 62
   Every Step Counts walks ............................................................................................... 63
   Fix your Bike vouchers .................................................................................................. 64
   Look after your health .................................................................................................... 64
   Talk about how you’re feeling ........................................................................................ 64
   Counselling and therapy ................................................................................................ 65
Scams ................................................................................................................................ 66
   General advice .............................................................................................................. 66
   Scams to be aware of .................................................................................................... 66
   Tips to avoid being scammed ........................................................................................ 67
   Stopping scam phone calls ............................................................................................ 68
   Fraud prevention advice ................................................................................................ 68
   If you think you are being scammed or have been scammed ........................................ 69
Information & Advice .......................................................................................................... 69
   Filling in forms ............................................................................................................... 69
   Attendance Allowance ................................................................................................... 69
   Benefit checks ............................................................................................................... 69
   Blue Badges .................................................................................................................. 70
   Capability for Work Assessments .................................................................................. 70
   Carer’s Allowance .......................................................................................................... 70
   Disability Living Allowance............................................................................................. 70
   Free TV licences for over-75s ........................................................................................ 70
   Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support ..................................................................... 71
   Pension Credit ............................................................................................................... 71
   Personal Independence Payment .................................................................................. 71
Care issues ........................................................................................................................ 72
   Alarms ........................................................................................................................... 72
   Finding care agencies.................................................................................................... 72
   If you are receiving care from a care agency ................................................................. 72
   If you are a family carer visiting someone who is vulnerable or extremely vulnerable ... 72
   If you are helping with cleaning ..................................................................................... 73
   If you are helping with shopping .................................................................................... 73
   If you wish to move a relative in with you to look after them .......................................... 74
                                                                                                                                       4
If you are living with someone who is extremely vulnerable .......................................... 74
  If a relative or friend is being admitted to a care home .................................................. 74
  Visiting relatives and friends in care homes................................................................... 75
  Changes to the Care Act ............................................................................................... 76
  Advance Care Planning and Resuscitation .................................................................... 76
  Help with housework and laundry .................................................................................. 76
  Help with shopping ........................................................................................................ 76
  Help with gardening ....................................................................................................... 77
  Sitting with a relative and companionship ...................................................................... 77
  Seniors Helping Seniors can provide companionship or sit with a relative while you have
  a break. They do not provide personal care. £24.60 per hour. Tel: 01732 495665. ...... 77
  Equipment, aids and adaptations (the One You Project) ............................................... 77
Health issues ..................................................................................................................... 77
  Dental treatment ............................................................................................................ 77
  Footcare and nailcutting ................................................................................................ 77
  Hearing aids .................................................................................................................. 77
  Hospital appointments ................................................................................................... 78
  Hospital discharge and complaints about NHS .............................................................. 78
  NHS Continuing Health Care assessments: .................................................................. 79
Housing issues .................................................................................................................. 79
  Housing advice .............................................................................................................. 79
  Plumbing & heating emergencies .................................................................................. 79
  Repairs & housing emergencies .................................................................................... 79
  Rubbish collection and garden waste ............................................................................ 80
  Recycling centres (council tips) ..................................................................................... 80
  Tradespeople working on your home ............................................................................ 80
  If you are unable to pay your rent .................................................................................. 81
  If you are unable to pay your mortgage ......................................................................... 82
Legal issues ....................................................................................................................... 83
  Advocacy ....................................................................................................................... 83
  Funerals and bereavement support ............................................................................... 83
  Weddings....................................................................................................................... 83
  Legal advice .................................................................................................................. 83
Memory issues ................................................................................................................... 84
  How to explain the situation to people with dementia .................................................... 84
  Looking after people with dementia ............................................................................... 84
  Further advice and support ............................................................................................ 84
Money issues ..................................................................................................................... 85
  General guidance .......................................................................................................... 85
  If you are in financial hardship but not self-isolating ...................................................... 85
  If you’re looking for help to apply for Universal Credit ................................................... 85
  Claiming compensation for a cancelled holiday or flight and travel insurance ............... 85
  If you’re unable to pay your insurance premiums for car or home insurance................. 85
  If you are having difficulty managing money during Coronavirus ................................... 86
  If you can’t pay your bills because of Coronavirus ......................................................... 86
  Gas and electric bills...................................................................................................... 86
  Water bills ...................................................................................................................... 87
  Phone and internet bills ................................................................................................. 87
  Tax................................................................................................................................. 88
  Vulnerable energy customers ........................................................................................ 88
Transport issues ................................................................................................................ 88
  Buses............................................................................................................................. 88
  Door-to-door transport ................................................................................................... 88
  Shopping trips ................................................................................................................ 89
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Parking .......................................................................................................................... 89
  MoTs.............................................................................................................................. 89
  Travel insurance ............................................................................................................ 89
Employment issues ............................................................................................................ 89
  If you need general information: .................................................................................... 89
  If you need advice on your individual circumstances: .................................................... 90
  Employees who are vulnerable or high risk ................................................................... 90
  Your rights to sick pay if you’re off sick from work or told to stay home due to
  Coronavirus ................................................................................................................... 90
  Are you a key worker? ................................................................................................... 90
  Should I go back to work if I am not a keyworker? ........................................................ 90
  Guidance if you are going back to work ......................................................................... 91
  Volunteering .................................................................................................................. 93
  Support for businesses .................................................................................................. 93
  Job Retention Scheme (furloughing staff)...................................................................... 93
  If your salary is reduced or you are not able to work ..................................................... 93
  Self-Employment Income Support Scheme ................................................................... 94
  What to do if you’re claiming benefits or asked to go to a medical assessment ............ 94
  Looking for work ............................................................................................................ 94
  Turn2us Coronavirus Grant Fund .................................................................................. 94
Food banks, hygiene banks (and other help with food) ..................................................... 95
  General advice .............................................................................................................. 95
  Aylesford (Free food for Medway & Kent) ...................................................................... 95
  East Malling Food Bank ................................................................................................. 95
  Edenbridge (God’s Hands Food Bank) .......................................................................... 95
  Kings Hill (St Gabriels Church Food Bank) .................................................................... 95
  Sevenoaks (Loaves & Fishes Food Bank) ..................................................................... 95
  Swanley Food Bank ....................................................................................................... 95
  Tonbridge Food Banks .................................................................................................. 95
  The Community Cupboard............................................................................................. 96
  Westerham Food Bank .................................................................................................. 96
  Age UK .......................................................................................................................... 96
  Hygiene Bank ................................................................................................................ 96
  Kent Support & Assistance Service (KSAS) .................................................................. 96
Post & Royal Mail changes ................................................................................................ 97
  Priority postboxes .......................................................................................................... 97
  Collecting mail from the sorting office ............................................................................ 97
  Signing for and receiving items ...................................................................................... 97
  Changes to door-to-door mailings ................................................................................. 97
Some helplines for further support ..................................................................................... 97
  Emergencies.................................................................................................................. 97
  Physical Health .............................................................................................................. 97
  Mental Wellbeing ........................................................................................................... 98
  Caring For Someone ..................................................................................................... 98
  Domestic Abuse ............................................................................................................ 98
  Housing Issues .............................................................................................................. 98
  Other Advice .................................................................................................................. 98

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Which group are you?
Everyone falls into one of four groups set out by the Government. The emphasis has
shifted from staying at home to going out but there are various restrictions:
     People who feel unwell and are displaying symptoms should “self-isolate” and not
       go out.
     Extremely vulnerable people. You no longer have to “shield” but should minimise
       contact if going out.
     Vulnerable people. You should “minimise contact” if going out.
     Everyone else. You should “socially distance” when going out.
These groups and terms are explained below.

You can find further guidance at:
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-
      can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-alert-and-safe-social-
      distancing
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51506729

If you feel unwell or are displaying symptoms
Common symptoms

If you have a sore throat, sneeze or have a runny nose you are likely to have a cold rather
than Coronavirus. Common symptoms of Coronavirus are high temperature (fever),
and/or a new continuous cough and/or loss of smell or taste. Other possible symptoms
include breathlessness, fatigue, aching muscles and joints, sore throats, diarrhea,
conjunctivitis (red eyes), headaches, a rash on the skin, discolouration of fingers or toes.
     The fever is usually high (over 38 degrees Centigrade) and persistent over more
       than 4 days. This means you are hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not
       need to measure your temperature). This is the body’s way to fight the infection.
       Although there are no medicines at the moment your immune system will fight it and
       the fever is part of that process. If it makes you too uncomfortable or stops you
       eating or drinking, use paracetamol to reduce the fever for a few hours. The fever
       can go on for a week with this infection. If you are still feverish after 7 days, contact
       NHS 111.
     The cough is generally dry and develops 3-4 days after the fever. It means
       coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours. If
       you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual. A cough can last for several
       weeks after the infection has gone.
     Breathlessness is a feature of this illness due to irritation and inflammation of the
       lungs. It affects different people in different ways. Some people get an intermittent
       tightness in their chest like an asthma attack. You will only need to go to hospital if it
       is so severe that you need oxygen support or ventilation. This is likely if you are too
       breathless to climb stairs or to hold a conversation or to eat or drink. Less than 1 in
       10 people will need this support.
     Fatigue and muscle aches seem worse in the first 4 days with cough and
       breathlessness after that.
     A minority of people continue to have a cough and breathless for more than 2
       weeks. The dry cough can go on for 3 weeks but will settle over time.
     You will only be admitted to hospital if you are very sick.

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It is natural to feel very anxious and want to go to hospital for reassurance. However it is
safe to stay at home unless the breathlessness becomes severe and other symptoms can
be managed well in your own home. It is important to help your own immune system with
rest, drinking lots of fluids, eating fruit and nourishing food, keeping warm and avoiding
stress.
Further guidance at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-
guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-
infection

When and how to contact the NHS

If you think you may have Coronavirus, however mild, please do not go to your GP,
chemist or hospital.

You should ask for a test online at the government online portal or by visiting
www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ Or call 119 to arrange a test. More
information on testing is below. You and your household should “self-isolate” until you
get the result. Whether you continue to need to self-isolate will depend on the result.

If you have previously been contacted by the NHS and identified as “extremely
vulnerable”, you should also get further advice from the NHS online at
www.111.nhs.uk/covid-19/ as soon as you show symptoms or phone them on 111 if
you can’t get online.

Otherwise you don’t need to tell the NHS that you are unwell but it’s a good idea to check
the NHS 111 website and get yourself tested.

However if symptoms become unmanageable, worsen or do not get better after 7
days, you should contact NHS 111 by phone or online. This means you can’t do
things you normally would, like watch TV or look at your phone. At this point
appropriate treatment can be organised. In a medical emergency dial 999 and say that you
think you have Coronavirus. To check if you need medical help you can also look at:
www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

If you live with someone vulnerable see if they can temporarily live with other family or
friends. If this cannot be done, you should try to minimise contact with the vulnerable
person as far as it is possible.

Self-isolating (stay at home and do not go out for any reason)

If you develop a new and continuous cough or a fever, however mild, or lose your sense of
smell or taste you should stay at home and self-isolate yourself (avoid contact with other
people, even anyone you live with). Self-isolating is for a short period due to a suspected
coronavirus infection.
     You should not go out for any reason and you should get someone else to do
       shopping for you. This includes not going to your GP, chemist or hospital. This
       advice has not changed.
     If you are any age you must stay at home for at least 10 days if you have started
       coughing repeatedly and/or if you have a high temperature and/or you lose your
       sense of smell or taste.
     Anyone who lives with you should also stay at home for 14 days even if they stay
       well in case they develop symptoms. This period starts from the day the first person
       in your household becomes unwell.

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 After 10 days have passed if you still have a high temperature, keep self-isolating at
     home until your temperature returns to normal.
    If you no longer have a high temperature but just have a cough (or have not
     regained your sense of smell or taste), you do not need to continue to self-isolate as
     these symptoms can last for several weeks after the infection has gone. This means
     you can start going out again but should stay at home as much as possible and
     keep your distance from other people if you do have to go out. However anyone
     who lives with you should continue to stay at home for another 4 days.
    If during this 14-day period another member of the household becomes unwell, they
     should stay at home for 10 days from the day at which they develop symptoms.
     However, if they become unwell on day 13 then they will have to stay inside for an
     additional 10 days (meaning that they will be inside for 23 days). The Government
     have produced a diagram to help explain how long you must stay inside for. You
     can view that here.
    You should try to remain separate from the rest of the household as far as possible.
    You should phone 111 immediately only if you have been told you are “extremely
     vulnerable”. Otherwise you should get tested (see above) and look at 111 online at
     https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/
    However, if coronavirus symptoms become unmanageable at home, get worse, or
     do not improve after 7 days contact 111.
    You can find specific Government guidance on isolation for households with a
     possible Coronavirus infection at:
     https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-
     at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

Support for people who are self-isolating

The NHS volunteer responder service is now available to all people who are self-
isolating for any reason. This could be because:
     You have confirmed Coronavirus.
     You have suspected symptoms of Coronavirus.
     You have been in contact with someone who has Coronavirus.
     You have been advised to self-isolate before having surgery.
     You are required to self-isolate as you have been abroad.
     You are extremely vulnerable.
     You are caring for someone and this support would help you to continue in your
        caring role.
     You are frontline health or social care staff.
     You are vulnerable for any other reason eg you are disabled, pregnant, over-70,
        have Parkinson’s, epilepsy or mental health conditions.
If you would like help collecting shopping, medication or other essential supplies or just
want a telephone ‘check in and chat’ to help prevent loneliness, please contact the Royal
Voluntary Service who are co-ordinating the NHS Volunteer Responder scheme on 0808
196 3646 (8am to 8pm) or go to this website:
https://www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/contact-us/contact-form

Self-isolating if you have been abroad

The Government are asking people who have been abroad to certain countries to self-
isolate when they return for 14 days. If international travellers cannot say where they plan
to self-isolate, then they will do so in accommodation arranged by the government.
Exemptions are
     Road haulage and freight workers
                                                                                               9
 Medical and care professionals travelling providing essential healthcare
     Those arriving to attend pre-arranged medical treatment
     Passengers in transit, if they do not pass through border control
     Anyone arriving from Ireland, Channel Islands or Isle of Man
     Seasonal agricultural workers if they self-isolate where they are working
     UK residents who ordinarily travel overseas at least once a week for work
If you are required to self-isolate as a result of having been abroad and would like help
collecting shopping, medication or other essential supplies or just want a telephone ‘check
in and chat’ to help prevent loneliness, please contact the Royal Voluntary Service who
are co-ordinating the NHS Volunteer Responder scheme on 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm)
or go to this website: https://www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/contact-us/contact-form

You're not automatically entitled to statutory sick pay if you are asked to self-isolate
(quarantine) after returning from holiday or business travel. Your employer could choose:
     to pay you sick pay, either at the statutory rate or a higher level
     to take additional annual leave so you can get holiday pay while self-isolating
     to ask you to work from home if this is possible and pay you as normal
However, if you have coronavirus or its symptoms and have to self-isolate, then you are
eligible for statutory sick pay, which pays £95.85 per week.

If you are vulnerable or extremely vulnerable
Who is extremely vulnerable?

If you have a serious underlying health condition you are extremely vulnerable. This
includes:
     If you have severe respiratory conditions. This includes:
            o any cystic fibrosis,
            o severe asthma (some people only) or
            o severe COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).
     If you are on immuno-suppression therapies which could significantly increase the
        risk of infection.
     If you have specific cancers or are receiving cancer treatment. This includes if you:
            o are undergoing chemotherapy, or radiotherapy for lung cancer
            o have cancer of the blood or bone marrow
            o are having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for
                cancer
            o are undergoing other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the
                immune system;
            o have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last six months.
            o some people who are are still taking immuno-suppression drugs
     If you have received a solid organ transplant
     If you have rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase
        the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell)
     If you are pregnant with significant congenital heart disease
You can register and find a more comprehensive list of people who are extremely
vulnerable on the NHS website at www.gov.uk/coronavirus-extremely-vulnerable If you are
unsure what you should do, phone 0800 028 8327 or contact your GP or look at
https://volunteering.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/nhs-volunteer-responders-portal/isolating.

What has happened to “shielding”?

You no longer need to shield unless asked to do so again.
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    You should continue taking particular care to minimise contact with others outside
        your household.
     You can go out anywhere including visiting shops and places of worship.
     You should still follow social distancing guidelines when outside your home and
        wash your hands regularly to reduce the risk of being infected.
     You can also return to work if it is safe to do so. More info at:
        www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19
     You can choose to continue to shield yourself by not going out but there will be less
        support available (see below).
The government has written to all individuals on the Shielded Patient List with updated
advice and the ongoing support that will be available to them. The NHS will maintain the
Shielded Patient List to ensure that they continue to provide the best advice to those
identified as clinically extremely vulnerable. More guidance at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/plans-to-ease-guidance-for-over-2-million-shielding

Who is less vulnerable but still at risk?

You are still vulnerable:
     If you are over 70 even if you are otherwise fit and well. There is a higher risk of
        complications even if you do not have any pre-existing conditions.
     If you are any age but living with a long-term health condition (which means you
        would normally be offered a flu jab). For example:
             o Moderate asthma and some people with severe asthma
             o A serious heart condition
             o Severe obesity
             o Diabetes
             o Dementia
             o Kidney failure
             o Liver disease and some people who have had a liver transplant
             o Some cancer including some people on immuno-suppression
     If you have Parkinson’s, epilepsy or mental health conditions.
     If you are pregnant.
If you fall into any of the above it means you are more likely to need hospital treatment if
you become unwell. You will not have been sent a letter but you should consider taking
additional precautions including minimising contact as much as possible.
     You should be vigilant about maintaining hygiene and do not be afraid to ask
        anyone coming into your home to provide help and support to also maintain
        hygiene.
     You should avoid close contact with any member of your household experiencing
        symptoms of coronavirus.

Minimising contact (be careful going out)

You can go out but should continue to take particular care to minimise contact with
people outside your household. This includes using a garden, backyard or balcony. If you
share this space with other people then you should keep at least 1 metre apart and
preferably 2 metres. You may want to think about exercising indoors rather than outdoors.
If you do go out more frequently, you should be careful to maintain social distancing and
you should follow the guidelines below alongwith everyone else.

Support for people who are vulnerable or extremely vulnerable

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   Free essential food boxes are no longer being delivered by the Government.
       However NHS volunteers and local councils can continue to support anyone with:
            o Collecting shopping, medication (if your friends and family cannot collect
                them for you) or other essential supplies. You will have to pay for any
                shopping.
            o Regular, friendly phone calls to help prevent loneliness. It may be provided
                by different volunteers each time or by someone who is also extremely
                vulnerable if you prefer.
            o Transport to medical appointments
       If you would like any of this help please contact:
            o Your local council who can put you in touch with a local support group.
            o The NHS volunteer responder service is now available to all vulnerable
                people. Please contact the Royal Voluntary Service who are co-ordinating it
                on 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm) or go to this website:
                https://www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/contact-us/contact-form
       A carer or family member can also contact them on your behalf.
      You can also organise your own shopping or continue to have food delivered:
            o If you have previously registered as extremely vulnerable, this information
                should have been shared with supermarkets. This means if you make an
                online or telephone order with a supermarket you will be eligible for a priority
                delivery slot. This applies to new as well as existing customers.
            o Other options include supermarket food box deliveries, prepared meal
                deliveries and local food business deliveries. All of these are explained
                below.
      You could also ask family, friends or neighbours if they are able to assist, by
       dropping shopping and medication to your doorstep, or if possible, order online.
      If this is not possible then you can still go shopping but this should be as infrequent
       as possible.
      If you are employed, you will no longer be eligible for statutory sick pay - unless you
       develop coronavirus symptoms, or someone you know develops symptoms, and
       you are told to self-isolate and cannot work from home.
      Essential carers (including your family) and healthcare professionals can still come
       into your home, but should follow protective hygiene measures.
      You can find Government guidance at:
       https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-
       extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19
      You can find NHS guidance at: https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-
       content/uploads/sites/52/2020/03/20200402-FAQs-Patients-vFINAL.pdf

What to do if you feel unwell

      If you are well you do not need to contact 111.
      However you should seek medical help if you need it for any reason.
      If you are unwell you should get tested (see below) and look at 111 online at
       https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/
      Contact 111 immediately if you develop a high temperature or a new, continuous
       cough. Do not go to your GP, chemist or hospital.
      You should use NHS online services to book appointments or order repeat
       prescriptions – only phone if this is not possible. GP consultations should be done
       over the phone or online, to minimise risk to you and other patients. GP practices
       may postpone non-urgent health checks or routine appointments.

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If you are single
Support Bubbles

You can meet other people in a “support bubble”. This only applies to single adults living
alone (or single parents with children under 18). This rule is designed to help people who
are lonely. So it does not apply to grandparents who live together, people living in houses
of multiple occupancy, such as flat shares, or to couples who already live together. Single
people can form a "support bubble" with one other household. The second household can
be of any size. This means you can act as if you are part of their household - for instance,
you can spend time together inside each other’s homes and don't have to maintain social
distancing. You will also be able to stay overnight.
     You can only have one bubble per household - you can't change the arrangement
       by switching households or add other households.
     Anyone can take part including extremely vulnerable people.
     People with coronavirus will not be able to take part.
Some examples of those who would be able to benefit from "bubbling" are:
     A grandparent living alone would be able to form a support bubble with one of their
       children, which means they could go to see them and interact with their
       grandchildren as normal.
     A single parent could form a support bubble with a parent or friend so they could
       interact as normal.
     Two single people who each live alone could form a support bubble.
     A couple who don't live together could form a support bubble but only if they both
       live alone. They can also form a support bubble if one of them lives with someone
       else, a flatmate for example. In this case the person who they live with wouldn't be
       allowed to form another support bubble with another household).
If anyone in the support bubble gets coronavirus symptoms then everyone in both
households will have to self-isolate for 14 days.

Everyone else
Everyone else can go out but should follow the guidance below.

Going out now lockdown is easing
General guidelines

These guidelines apply to everyone who is not self-isolating. You should:
     Avoid large gatherings and small public spaces.
     Small services can resume in places of worship.
     If you are well you do not need to contact 111.
     If you are unwell you should get tested (see above) and look at 111 online at
        https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/ However, if coronavirus symptoms become
        unmanageable at home, get worse, or do not improve after 7 days phone 111. Do
        not go to your GP, chemist or hospital.
This applies to everyone who is not self-isolating. Police guidance is not exhaustive and
officers are required to use discretion and judgement in deciding what is and isn’t
reasonable in the circumstances. Here are some examples of our understanding of the
Law, Government guidance and how the police might interpret it:

Meeting other people

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The following applies to everyone unless you are self-isolating or have symptoms of
Coronavirus:
    The legal limit for social gatherings indoors and outdoors will be a maximum of 6
       people from 14 September. The two-household rule has been ditched so the
       gathering of 6 people can be from 6 different households. Children are included in
       the number of people.
    Indoors covers people’s homes. It also includes shops, pubs, restaurants, leisure
       venues such as cinemas, places of worship and some other venues that may have
       re-opened such as community centres. They can host more people in total but you
       cannot visit in a group larger than 6. You should not socialise with other people who
       are outside the group you are with even if you know them and see them there.
    Outdoors covers public parks, private gardens or other outdoor space. This includes
       having picnics, playing non-contact sports and going to barbecues. If you are
       meeting in a garden, you should avoid going into someone else’s house if possible
       though you can go through their house to reach their garden. If you have to go into
       their house, for example to use the toilet, you should wash your hands and clean
       any surfaces that you come into contact with.
    You should stay at least one metre apart (preferably two metres and sitting side-by-
       side) and wash hands frequently.
    You should avoid contact with anyone displaying symptoms. If you are asked to
       self-isolate because you have been in contact with someone infected, you should
       do so.
    You are allowed to stay overnight but you must maintain social distancing.
    There will be a limited number of exemptions where groups can be larger than 6
       people, including:
           o where everyone lives together or is in the same support bubble, or to
               continue existing arrangements where children do not live in the same
               household as both their parents
           o for work, and voluntary or charitable services
           o for education, training, or registered childcare (including wraparound care)
           o fulfilling legal obligations such as attending court or jury service
           o providing emergency assistance, or providing support to a vulnerable person
           o for you or someone else to avoid illness, injury or harm
           o participate in children’s playgroups
           o major life events such as baptisms, weddings, civil partnerships and other
               religious life-cycle ceremonies and receptions - where up to 30 people will be
               able to attend. However you cannot hold or attend celebrations of any size
               (such as parties) where it is difficult to maintain social distancing.
           o funerals - where up to 30 people will be able to attend
           o organised indoor and outdoor sports, physical activity and exercise classes
           o youth groups or activities
           o elite sporting competition or training
           o protests and political activities organised in compliance with COVID-19
               secure guidance and subject to strict risk assessments
    You should try to limit the number of people you see, especially over short periods
       of time, to keep you and them safe, and save lives. The more people with whom
       you interact, the more chances we give the virus to spread.

Shopping and leisure

      Shops are only permitted to re-open if they meet “social distancing” guidelines.
       Keep your distance in shops and remember that some supermarkets have reserved
       certain hours for vulnerable people or medical staff. Some shops are only taking
       orders by phone or online and only offering collection or delivery.
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