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On 2nd December new restrictions will come into force across England, with regions split into three tiers.

As in the previous tier system and throughout the second national lockdown, unpaid carers can continue to provide essential care. Support groups for unpaid carers can also continue in all three tiers.

The regulations allow carers in all three tiers to arrange for another family member or friend to provide respite care so that they can take a break.

Furthermore, the new regulations allow people caring for someone with a disability at home to form a support bubble with another household, a “linked household”. If they are just one adult caring for someone with a disability they can form a support bubble. If a carer has a child under 5 with a disability then even if there is more than one adult in the household they can form a support bubble.

Helen Walker, Chief Executive of Carers UK, said:

“We welcome these exemptions to the latest tier system which recognise the challenges for people caring for older, disabled and seriously ill people through the pandemic.

“In October, 64% of unpaid carers told us that they hadn’t been able to take any breaks whatsoever since the pandemic started. Allowing carers to pull on family or friends for respite care over the winter will be crucial in helping them take care of their own mental and physical health, and recharge a little, during this difficult time when we know 81% are taking on more care for loved ones.

“We are also pleased that the Government has enabled single adult carers to form a support bubble under the new restrictions, providing them with much-needed reassurance that they have back up, can get emotional support and take a break.

“Going forward it is imperative that under all tiers, we see day and support services opening up safely again so that carers and the people they support can get the formal help they desperately need.”

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