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Staying safe - FAQs

Below we have answers to some common questions about how to stay safe and minimise the risks posed by COVID-19.

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Despite the fact that many restrictions have lifted, you may still feel worried and eager to help protect friends or family from COVID-19 who may be clinically vulnerable. The guidance may differ depending on where you live. See the relevant link for more details:  England,  Scotland,  Wales,  Northern Ireland.

Everyone is being urged to ensure they are fully vaccinated with the addition of the booster vaccine, if possible, which is now being offered to all adults. This offers significant protection against the worst effects of COVID-19.

You can also find information about support services below or turn to your local council (or trust in Northern Ireland) using our local directory if you need to find their contact details:

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What's the latest vaccine and booster news?

See our webpage of frequently asked questions related to the vaccine here: If you have a query about this, contact our Helpline at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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How can I keep myself and loved ones safe?

Be mindful that the symptoms of COVID-19 now vary quite considerably. Even if you don't have the common ones of a fever, persistent cough or a loss of taste and smell, you might notice others such as a headache, a runny nose, a tight chest and aches and pains.

If you experience any of these symptoms it is quite possible that you are positive. It is advisable to self-isolate and follow this guidance: 

See our contingency planning guidance should you wish to plan for cover in case you are no longer able to care for someone temporarily if you come down with COVID-19.

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What's the latest guidance on face coverings?

Check your nation's specific guidance to see what rules still apply and if you're going away, remember to check the rules for the country you're travelling to on the website. Across the UK, the use of face coverings is still recommended in certain settings. 

Exemptions for the use of face coverings will also apply if you have certain health conditions or disabilities where wearing one causes problems. There are exemption cards available to help, such as those found via the link on this page or recommended on the Hidden Disabilities site: Here are some other printable options on the site.

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What support is available now for vulnerable people?

The guidance may differ depending on where you live. See the relevant link for more details:  England,  Scotland,  Wales,  Northern Ireland.

If you have been affected by coronavirus, you can also visit The Hub of Hope can also be accessed to find local sources of mental health support and services, both from the NHS and from other organisations.

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How can I get tested?

The rules around testing have changed. See this guidance for more information.

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How do I contact my GP if the person I care for is unwell or if I need medical advice?

It's vital to still seek medical advice when needed for other medical issues too. Do not hesitate to arrange an appointment if you have any doubts about your health or that of someone you care for. You can call your GP surgery or contact them via their website. They can then arrange for you to have a consultation with your GP in a COVID-secure way that will not pose any additional risk to you or others. 

The NHS website also has some useful guidance on taking care of yourself and others. 

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Is the person I care for at particular risk from coronavirus?

If you think the person you care for is at high risk (for example if they can't receive the vaccine), it is worth contacting their GP (if they are unable to) to verify whether they should be taking additional protective measures. It is best to take precautions if you have any doubts in the meantime, and follow the NHS advice as well as government guidance on protecting those who are most vulnerable.

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I desperately need a break from caring - what can I do?

You could try to arrange for someone else to provide the care you normally provide to the person you look after, to enable you to take a break. This could involve someone coming into the home of the person you care for, and staying overnight.

If possible, alternatively the person you care for could go to someone else’s home to receive care to give you a break from caring. Contact your local council or local trust to see what advice and support they can offer if your family or friends are unable to help.

Although many respite services have opened up again, they may be available at a reduced capacity level. To find out what support may be available in your area, you could use our local directory as a starting point: With our recent report, 'Breaks or breakdown', we are strongly urging the government to fund more adequate measures of support so that carers can take a much needed break.

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