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Coronavirus guidance

Last updated: 29 November 2021 


  • Covid-19 cases in the UK remain high and some restrictions have been reintroduced because of a new variant. See below for information about the rules and guidance on how to stay as safe as possible.

  • You can find answers to common questions relating to the vaccine and booster here.

It's important to know what support is available to you as a carer and those you look after to help manage the risk posed by COVID-19.

If you, or someone you care for, has a symptom of coronavirus such as a continuous cough, fever or a lack of taste or smell, you must keep well away from others and arrange a test. PCR and lateral flow tests, if ordered in the UK, will remain free of charge. Ensure you self-isolate and forewarn those you have been close to straight away.

Do seek medical help if the symptoms become severe and difficult to manage. Further guidance can also be found here: 

Getting help in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland

  • Scotland: Check your symptoms online
  • Wales: Check your symptoms online.
  • Northern Ireland: Check your symptoms online

Some rules still apply depending on where you are in the UK so check your area.

Latest guidance 

A new variant (Omicron) has been identified which means that some new restrictions are being reintroduced or reinforced to protect us all.

A booster programme is underway to help protect the most vulnerable to the virus and if you are an unpaid carer, you will be invited when yours is due. You can read more about this here. It is especially important to take precautions and follow the current NHS and government guidance at this time. 

In England, it is now mandatory to wear a mask on all forms of public transport and in shops due to a new variant having been identified (unless you are exempt). From year 7 and above, face coverings must additionally be worn in all communal settings in schools unless a child or adult is exempt. Tighter travel restrictions also now apply. You can read more here

In Scotland, you must also wear a face covering in many public places unless you are exempt. Vaccine certification is now required for attending large events and late night venues and there are further travel rules to observe. For more details, see this guidance

In Northern Ireland, people are being urged to work from home where possible because of rising cases. Face coverings are still mandatory on public transport unless you are exempt. You can find out about the current restrictions and rules to follow here

In Wales, face masks still need to be worn in many public places, including buses, shops and hospitals, unless you are exempt. You can find more details about the latest guidance here.

Wherever you live in the UK, you should not be prevented from visiting someone who relies on your support for care, although it is advisable to take every precaution possible. 

You can arrange with family or friends for someone else to provide the care you normally provide to the person you care for, to enable you to take a break. Read more 

Getting further support

We have lots of useful guidance on being prepared for emergencies and contingency planning. See below for more topics and sources of support to help protect those you care for and yourself.

Click on the relevant links below:

What is the latest guidance for carers?

Staying safe - FAQs

Managing food and medication - FAQs

Benefits guidance - FAQs

Practical guidance - FAQs

For the latest updates on changes to the benefits system, see our A-Z of changes to benefits, assessments and support. See below for more topics:

Protecting who you care for – for ways to minimise their risk 

Making a plan – for useful tips on contingency planning

Working and caring – for support if you're juggling work with caring

Protecting your mental wellbeing – for tips on keeping positive

Keeping active and well – for ideas on exercising

To connect with other carers, you may wish to join one of our Care for a Cuppa online chats or free 'share and learn' online get togethers – offering everything from music and art to yoga, dance and mindfulness.

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