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Support boost for people told to self-isolate

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Written by: Emma Lunn
24/05/2021
People living in overcrowded accommodation who test positive for Covid-19 will be given alternative accommodation and translation help in a new support pilot.

The scheme will be trialled in nine areas across England with high coronavirus rates and is designed to help find further ways to encourage people to self-isolate where necessary.

In partnership with local authorities, the government is backing the pilot schemes with £12m of funding.

The money will be used for providing alternative accommodation for people in overcrowded households, and social care support for vulnerable adults. It will also provide ‘buddying’ services for people whose mental health has been affected by lockdown, and language communications support for people whose first language isn’t English.

The pilots have been designed to encourage people most at risk of catching and transmitting Covid-19 to come forward for testing and to self-isolate if they test positive.

The areas that will receive funding for these pilots are: Newham; Yorkshire and Humber; Lancashire, Blackburn & Darwen, Blackpool; Greater Manchester; Cheshire and Merseyside; Royal Borough of Kingston; Hackney; Peterborough, Fenland and South Holland, and Somerset.

Matt Hancock, health and social care secretary, said: “From the very beginning of this global pandemic, the British public have made tremendous sacrifices and played their part whenever they’re asked – social distancing, self-isolating, getting tested and now finally, getting the jab.

“Variants have the potential to be a Trojan horse for our hard-won progress and it is more vital than ever that we do what we can to show them the exit door, following the rules and self-isolating when asked.

“We recognise just how challenging self-isolation is for many people and these pilots will help us find the best ways to support people and making it easier for everyone to keep doing their bit.”

Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said: “We are doing everything we can to send this virus into retreat and stifle the spread of new variants, and at the heart of this effort is our collaboration with local authorities.

“Covid-19 is a global disease but it requires local solutions as well as national ones, and I am hugely grateful for the efforts of the local authorities that are going to be involved with these pilots.

“Our partnership with local councils has seen us reach more positive cases of the virus than ever before, many of whom were people who could otherwise have unknowingly spread the virus to their loved ones.”

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