The number of Covid-19 cases is rising rapidly across the whole of the UK including Wolverhampton.
New National restrictions

We must act now to control the spread of the virus. The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home, to protect the NHS and save lives.

When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. That is why, from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, the Government is taking the following action:

  1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for specific purposes.
  2. Preventing gathering with people you do not live with, except for specific purposes.
  3. Closing certain businesses and venues.

These new measures have been carefully judged to achieve the maximum reduction in growth in the number of cases, preventing the NHS from being overwhelmed, whilst ensuring that schools, colleges and universities stay open and that as many people as possible continue to work.

From December 2 the Government will look to return to a regional approach, based on the latest data.

Complying with the new measures will help limit the spread of coronavirus, reduce the impact on the NHS and save lives. They will be underpinned by law which will make clear about what you must and must not do from 5 November. The relevant authorities, including the police, will have powers to enforce the law – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

There is separate additional guidance for households with a possible or confirmed coronavirus infection

General FAQs
Why are we in another lockdown? 

COVID-19 case numbers are rising rapidly across the whole of the UK and in other countries. We must act now to control the spread of the virus. The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home, to protect the NHS and save lives. 

That is why, from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, the Government is taking the following action: 

  1. Requiring people to stay at home, except for specific purposes. 
  2. Preventing gathering with people you do not live with, except for specific purposes. 
  3. Closing certain businesses and venues. 
Does this affect education? 

All schools, colleges and other educational establishments should remain open and continue to allow all their students to attend. All nurseries, childminders and breakfast/after-school clubs should remain open and continue to allow all their children and young people to attend. 

Can I go to work? 

Residents are advised to work from home where possible. If this is not possible then you can still go to work. 

Are leisure centres and gyms open? 

All leisure centres and gyms will be closed from 5th November. 

Can I exercise outdoors? 

You can exercise outdoors as many times as possible. 

Can I visit an outdoor place with my friends or family? 

You can only visit an outdoor place such as parks, countryside, playgrounds with the people you live with, your support bubble or if you live alone with 1 other person from another household. Private gardens are not classed as an outdoor place. 

Can I meet my friends outdoors with my child in a pram? 

You can only meet 1 other person in an outdoor place i.e park and children under school age and those who require continuous care will not be counted towards the 2 person limit.  

What is a support bubble? 

A support bubble is a close support network between a household with only one adult in the home (known as a single-adult household) and one other household of any size. 

Once you’re in a support bubble, you can think of yourself as being in one household with people from the other household. It means you can have close contact with that household as if they were members of your own household. Once you make a support bubble, you should not change who is in your bubble. 

Are hospitality venues i.e pubs and restaurants still open? 

Pubs and bars will close from 5th November and all dining in facilities such as restaurants will be asked to closed. Deliveries and takeaways will be allowed. 

Can I still attend routine health appointments such as dentists? 

Yes, the guidance states that routine appointments are available. Changes have been made to keep individuals and the team safe during treatment. Residents are encouraged to contact their health service directly via email or telephone to discuss Covid-secure appointments and should not attend in person unless told to do so. 

Will shops be open? 

Shops selling basic necessities, for example food and medicine will remain open and residents are advised to visit these as infrequent as possible. All non essential shops such as retail will close from 5th November. Please follow the Government’s Hands, Face, Space advice. Hands: Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds. Face: Wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult or where you encounter people you do not normally meet. Space: Stay 2m apart from people you do not live with, or 1m-plus with extra precautions in place if 2m is not possible 

Will cemeteries remain open? 

Yes, cemeteries will remain open. 

Will household waste recycling centres (HWRC) remain open? 

Yes, household waste recycling centres (HWRC) will remain open.  

Can I still provide care to a family member? 

You are able to enter the home of an individual who is in your care bubble and you provide care for them. 

Which shops are closed? 

All non-essential retail, including, but not limited to clothing and electronics stores, vehicle showrooms, travel agents, betting shops, auction houses, tailors, car washes, tobacco and vape shops are closed from 5th November. Non-essential retail can remain open for delivery to customers and click-and-collect. 

Are leisure facilities open? 

Indoor and outdoor leisure facilities such as bowling alleys, leisure centres and gyms, sports facilities including swimming pools, golf courses and driving ranges, dance studios, stables and riding centres, soft play facilities, climbing walls and climbing centres, archery and shooting ranges, water and theme parks will close from 5th November.  

Also, entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, adult gaming centres and arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, concert halls, zoos and other animal attractions, botanical gardens will close. 

Will personal care facilities i.e hairdressers close? 

Personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons will close from 5th November. 

Are garden centres open?

Garden centres are classed as essential retail and will remain open.  

Can I go to stay at a hotel or Airbnb home?  

Hotels, hostels and other accommodation should only open for those who have to travel for work purposes.  

I attend a support group, will this be open? 

Support groups that are essential to deliver in person can continue with up to 15 participants where formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support. This includes support to victims of crime, people in drug and alcohol recovery, new parents and guardians, people with long-term illnesses, people facing issues relating to their sexuality or gender, and those who have suffered bereavement. 

Can mobile hairdressers visit my home? 

No, any close contact services will not be allowed. 

Can I visit a care home? 

Essential and compassionate visiting, either for health reasons or end of life care, can continue as long as appropriate infection prevention measures are in place. However, non-essential visiting – indoor and outdoor – has been halted.  

Why can I go to the workplace or school , but I can’t visit other households? 

We understand that it can be frustrating to be able to go to these certain places but not visit your family and friends within their household. 

However, the reason that these restrictions have come in place is that the data shows that the infection rate has risen mainly due to social interactions, particularly in private household gatherings. 

Evidence suggests that 90% of Covid-19 transmission in Wolverhampton is within the household or from one household to another. 

Can I move home? 

Yes, You can still move home. Estate and letting agents and removals firms can continue to work and people looking to move home can continue to undertake viewings. People outside your household or support bubble should not help with moving house unless absolutely necessary. 

Can I still travel to work or school?  

Yes. Workplaces and schools themselves should also be implementing measures to make themselves Covid-secure. 

Can I have someone in my house (or go into someone’s house) to do repairs or other work? 

You can go to other people’s homes for work purposes as long as you follow national guidance on how to work safely there. This includes limiting contact with customers, explaining your safety measures to them, making sure your staff are properly trained and understand what they need to do and avoiding crowded areas. Check before you go if anyone in your customers’ house has symptoms. 

Can I go to a wedding or a funeral?  

Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people, and it is advised that only close friends and family attend. Linked ceremonial events such as stone settings and ash scatterings can also continue with up to 15 people in attendance. Anyone working is not included. Social distancing should be maintained between people who do not live together or share a support bubble. 

Weddings, civil partnership ceremonies will not be permitted to take place except in exceptional circumstances. 

Can I go to a place of worship?  

Places of Worship will be closed unless they are being used for: 

  • Funerals 
  • To broadcast acts of worship 
  • Individual prayer 
  • Formal childcare or where part of a school 
  • Essential voluntary and public services, such as blood donation or food banks 
  • Other exempted activities such as some support groups 
If I live at University, can I move back and forward from my permanent home and student home? 

If you live at university, you must not move back and forward between your permanent home and student home during term time. You should only return home at the end of term for Christmas. We will publish further guidance on the end of term. 

The restrictions do not seem to make any sense. Surely visiting the home of somebody we know is safer than mixing with total strangers on public transport or going into work if I can’t work from home? 

We know that 90% of close contacts identified by NHS Test and Trace are linked to household members or family and friends visiting each other’s homes. As workplaces and public transport have risk assessments and associated measures in place to help reduce the spread of infection (such as the wearing of face coverings, social distancing and so on) there is less risk for these settings.  

Family members/friends provide essential childcare which enables me to go to work and without their support I have a huge problem. How am I meant to cope if my children cannot go to their house and they cannot come to mine? 

Parents are able to form a childcare bubble with another household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is 13 or under. 

Is shielding being reintroduced? 

The term ‘Shielding’ is now known as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) and individuals who were previously told to shield should work from home or if of school age should not attend school. If you cannot work from home, you are advised not to go to work and may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA). You are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible, but are encouraged to go outside for exercise. 

How is this different to shielding in March? 

During the first period of national shielding between March and July, many people found the advice very restrictive. The new guidance acknowledges this and provides practical steps to help keep you safe while reducing some of the potentially harmful impacts on mental and social wellbeing of previous shielding guidance. While we are still advising CEV people to stay at home as much as possible, you can go outside to take exercise or to attend essential health appointments. There is also no need for self-isolation within your household, although you are advised to social distance where possible and follow the guidance of ‘Hands. Face. Space’. 

Does my whole household have to shield? 

No. Other members of your household are not required to shield and should follow the new National Restrictions guidance for the general population. That means they should continue to go to work and/or school.  

To further protect yourself from COVID-19, you should try to stay 2 metres away from other people within your household, especially if they display symptoms of the virus or have been advised to self-isolate. You should also follow the guidance of ‘Hands. Face. Space’. 

Can I still access NHS services/social care services? 

Yes. It is important that you continue to receive the care and support you need to help you stay safe and well. You should continue to seek support from the NHS for any health conditions.  You can access a range of NHS services from home, including ordering repeat prescriptions or contacting your health professional through an online consultation. To find out more visit www.nhs.uk/health-at-home , or download the NHS App. If you have an urgent medical need, call NHS 111 or, for a medical emergency, dial 999. Any carers or visitors who support you with your everyday needs can continue to visit. They should follow social distancing guidance where close or personal contact is not required. 

I am Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (previously shielding) and I can’t work from home and my employer still wants me to go in. Who can I talk to? 

Please contact Citizens Advice who will be able to help on 0344 411 1444  

Can I travel? 

You should avoid travelling in or out of your local area, and you should look to reduce the number of journeys you make. However you can and should still travel for a number of reasons, including: 

  • travelling to work where this cannot be done from home 
  • travelling to education and for caring responsibilities 
  • hospital GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health 
  • visiting venues that are open, including essential retail 
  • exercise, if you need to make a short journey to do so 

If you need to travel we encourage you to walk or cycle where possible, and to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. This will allow you to practice social distancing while you travel. 

Am I allowed to go on holiday? 

Overnight stays and holidays away from primary residences will not be allowed. This includes holidays abroad and in the UK. It also means you cannot stay in a second home, if you own one, or staying with anyone you do not live with or are in a support bubble with. There are specific exceptions, for example if you need to stay away from home (including in a second home) for work purposes, but this means people cannot travel overseas or within the UK, unless for work, education or other legally permitted reasons. 

I am currently abroad; can I return home?  

For those planning to travel into England, you should check the current travel corridor list to see whether you need to isolate for 14 days. You will still be required to abide by the restrictions set out here even if you do not need to isolate. British nationals currently abroad do not need to return home immediately. However, you should check with your airline or travel operator on arrangements for returning. 

Can I travel aboard? 

If you do need to travel overseas from England before 2 December (and are legally permitted to do so, for example, because it is for work), even if you are returning to a place you’ve visited before, you should look at the rules in place at your destination, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice

How long can we expect these restrictions to go on for? 

These restrictions will go on until 2nd December 2020.  

What happens with children being collected from school by a family member not in bubble whilst you are still at work? 

The Government has announced that grandparents, extended family members and others who provide either formal or informal care for children aged up to 13 or vulnerable adults are exempt from lockdown measures where it is necessary for caring purposes.  

Can I still meet inside with people from my support bubble? 

Yes. You will still count as one household who can meet together indoors or outdoors. 

A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household.  

Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit public places together.  

You don’t need to observe social distancing with other members of your household or bubble. 

My child attends afterschool club, can they still attend? 

The guidance states that training for extra-curricular purposes, for instance as part of clubs, should not take place. However, facilitated activities for children where these provide a childcare function for working parents are allowed to continue 

If I’m collecting a takeaway do I need to scan the NHS Test and Trace app or provide my contact details? 

No, you do not need to scan the QR code or provide your contact details but please remember to wear a face covering.  

I was previously told to shield (Clinically Extremely Vulnerable) will priority delivery slots be available again? 

If you previously received priority online delivery slots for supermarkets, these are still active.  

Where can I get a COVID test? 

You should get a test no matter how mild your symptoms are.

Book a test

Can I get financial support if I’m self isolating and I can’t work from home? 

This payment is designed to support people on low incomes, if they will lose income as a result of self-isolating, and to encourage them to get tested if they have symptoms. For more information please view Test and Trace Support Payment

How can I support my health and wellbeing during this lockdown? 

The city council have a wealth of information and resources to support health and wellbeing. Please visit Stay Safe, Be Kind for more information.

Will I be fined if I am caught having a meeting in a group that is illegal? 

Yes. Meeting in larger groups is against the law, although there are certain exceptions. 

The police can take action against you if you meet in larger groups, which includes breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fixed penalty notice fines. 

You can be fined £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400. 

If you hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of over 30 people, the police can issue fines of £10,000 

Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) FAQs
How long is the additional guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people in place for? 

The Government has introduced new National Restrictions guidance, which will come into effect on 5 November and will apply until Wednesday 2 December. The advice for the clinically extremely vulnerable will cover this same period. At the end of the period, we will look to return to a regional approach, and we will issue further guidance at the time.  

Why are you not reintroducing full shielding as in March? 

The new National Restrictions guidance announced on 31 October will protect everyone, including those who are clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV).  

We are introducing additional advice and support for CEV people to help further protect them. Whilst this does not go as far as previous shielding guidance, it does contain similar protections and support. 

Previous shielding advice introduced in March helped protect those most at risk from COVID-19, but many people told us they found this advice very restrictive. We have therefore made measured relaxations to the advice, such as advising CEV people to continue to go outside for exercise.  

View the full new guidance for CEV for more information. Translations and accessible formats of this guidance will also be made available in the coming days. 

How is this different to shielding in March? 

We know that during the first period of national shielding between March and July, many people found the advice very restrictive. The new guidance acknowledges this and provides practical steps to help keep you safe while reducing some of the potentially harmful impacts on mental and social wellbeing of previous shielding guidance.  

While we are still advising CEV people to stay at home as much as possible, you can go outside to take exercise or to attend essential health appointments.  

There is also no need for self-isolation within your household, although you are advised to social distance where possible and follow the guidance of ‘Hands. Face. Space’ 

Who will the new guidance apply to?  

The new guidance applies to individuals who have been deemed to be Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV), meaning that they face the highest risk of serious illness if they contract COVID-19. If you are in this group, you may have received a letter from the NHS or from your GP telling you this, and you may have been advised to shield in the past. See the guidance on Definition of Clinically Extremely Vulnerable groups for more details.  

Down’s syndrome (adults only) and chronic kidney disease (stage 5) have recently been added as conditions that meet the criteria of extreme clinical vulnerability, and therefore the new guidance also applies to individuals with either condition. 

Are these new rules compulsory?  

As before, the guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable is advisory, although you are strongly advised to follow the advice in order to keep yourself safe. 

Will you be writing to CEV people? 

The Government will write to everyone on the shielded patient list advising them of these changes. Guidance will also be available on the gov.uk website. 

Can I still access NHS services/social care services? 

Yes. It is important that you continue to receive the care and support you need to help you stay safe and well.  

You should continue to seek support from the NHS for any health conditions.  

You can access a range of NHS services from home, including ordering repeat prescriptions or contacting your health professional through an online consultation. To find out more visit nhs.uk/health-at-home, or download the NHS App. If you have an urgent medical need, call NHS 111 or, for a medical emergency, dial 999. 

Any carers or visitors who support you with your everyday needs can continue to visit. They should follow social distancing guidance where close or personal contact is not required. 

Does my whole household have to shield? 

No. Other members of your household are not required to shield and should follow the new National Restrictions guidance for the general population. That means they should continue to go to work and/or school.  

To further protect yourself from COVID-19, you should try to stay 2 metres away from other people within your household, especially if they display symptoms of the virus or have been advised to self-isolate. You should also follow the guidance of ‘Hands. Face. Space’. 

Will I be able to go outside? 

Everyone is advised to stay at home as much as possible, but you are still encouraged to go outside for exercise or to attend health appointments.  

If you do go out you should keep all contact with others to a minimum and avoid busy areas. You should also follow the guidance of ‘Hands. Face. Space’. 

Do children have to go to school? 

We know that children, even those with existing health conditions, have a very low risk of becoming very unwell from COVID-19. We also know how important it is for children to be able to continue their education. Speak to your child’s specialist doctor or GP if you have not already done so, to understand whether your child should still be classed as clinically extremely vulnerable. 

Those children whose doctors have confirmed they are still clinically extremely vulnerable are advised not to attend school whilst this advice is in place. Your child’s school will make appropriate arrangements for them to be able to continue their education at home.  

Children who live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, but who are not clinically extremely vulnerable themselves, should still attend school. 

Can I look after my grandchildren?  

You are advised to minimise all social interactions, including providing childcare, even if part of a childcare bubble.  

Are you adding new groups to the shielded patient list? 

The shielded patient list is monitored regularly, and if scientific evidence shows that other groups face a very high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 then they would be added to the shielded patient list and informed of this. 

Based on the latest evidence, we are adding adults with Down’s syndrome and all those with chronic kidney disease (stage 5) to the shielded patient list. will receive a letter from the NHS informing them that they have been added to the Shielded Patient List. Their GP or clinician should also contact them. 

Why is the Government announcing this now? Why is the advice for England different to the advice for other parts of the UK? 

The new guidance has been announced because coronavirus cases are rising rapidly across the country, and this advice is designed to further protect the most vulnerable. Each nation within the United Kingdom has a slightly different health system and this information only applies to those living in England. The new National Restrictions also only apply in England. 

This is a huge sacrifice for individuals - how confident are you that this is effective in keeping the clinically extremely vulnerable safe?  

We understand how hard these measures can be for individuals to follow, but we are confident that this advice strikes the best balance between preventing exposure to the virus with the potential negative physical and mental health consequences of asking people to isolate themselves.  

This guidance will remain in place for the 4 weeks up to 2 December. 

Can I exercise outside? If so, how often and for how long? Can I drive to exercise? 

Yes, you are encouraged to continue to exercise outside because of the health benefits that this brings. You can go out for as long and as often as you wish, although you are generally advised to stay at home as much as possible. 

Everyone should avoid travelling in or out of their local area, and should look to reduce the number of journeys they make. Additional advice to CEV people is that they should avoid all non-essential travel by private or public transport, but can travel a short distance to exercise if this is necessary 

What support will be offered to  CEVs? 

If you are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable and you need support to access food, or you have other support needs to help you to stay at home as much as possible, you will be able to request support from your local council.  

If friends and family are not able to collect your prescriptions or medicines for you, then you will also be eligible for free medicines delivery from your community pharmacy.  

If you cannot work, the Government has extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) until 2 December, which you may be eligible for if you were on payroll before 30 October 2020. Please speak to your employer if you think you are eligible.  

Additionally, the letter you will receive can act as evidence for your employer to show that you cannot work outside your home until 2 December and that you are eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA), provided other eligibility criteria are also met.

How will CEVs be able to access support?  

CEVs can use a new online service to register themselves, or on behalf of someone else, to:  

  • Request priority access to supermarket delivery slots (if you have already got priority supermarket deliveries, you’ll keep them).  
  • Tell us if you need support in order to follow this guidance that cannot be provided by friends, family or other support networks.  
  • Update your details, for example, your address.  

This service can be found at gov.uk/coronavirus-shielding-support. You’ll be asked for your NHS number. You can find it on any letter the NHS has sent you, or on a prescription.  

If you need to register your needs by phone, or have an urgent need, Please contact us on 01902 290 241. 

What food support is available for me/CEVs?  

You are advised not to go to the shops. Use online shopping if you can, or ask friends, family or local charities to collect and deliver shopping for you.   

If you need to register for help getting access to food please visit gov.uk/coronavirus-shielding-support.   

NHS Volunteer Responders may also be able to help deliver your food shopping. To arrange support for yourself or someone else call 0808 196 3646.  

If you are struggling and cannot get any food please contact us. 

How can I/CEVs access priority supermarket slots?  

7 of the UK’s largest supermarkets (Asda, Sainsburys, Tesco, Morrisons, Iceland, Waitrose, Ocado) are continuing to offer priority supermarket slots to Clinically Extremely Vulnerable people who need them.   

If you are already receiving priority access to supermarket delivery slots this will continue, you do not need to do anything further.   

You can use a new online service to register yourself, or on behalf of another CEV individual, to request priority access to a supermarket delivery.  

Can I/CEVs go to work?

If you are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable, you should not work outside the home until 2 December. Your employer is expected to help you to work from home.   

CEV employees or workers should talk to their employer as soon as they can about the new guidance.   

If you are unable to work in your normal role or do all of your usual tasks from home, you should discuss whether there are any alternative arrangements that can be made with your employer, including considering using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough).  

Is it safe for people who live with CEVs to go to work? 

Everyone is being advised to work from home where they can.  

Where it is not possible to work from home, household members who themselves are not classified as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable can still go to work if they cannot work from home.  

Household members who live with CEVs should take extra care to follow the public health guidance on handwashing, social distancing, and complying with any Covid secure workplace guidance.   

You should try to remain two meters apart from each other, especially if household members display symptoms of the virus or have been advised to self-isolate  

What support is available?  

The Government has extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) until 2 December which you may be eligible for if you were on payroll before 30 October 2020. Please speak to your employer if you think you are eligible.  

If you cannot work, you may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), Universal Credit (UC) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA). Eligibility criteria apply.    

The letter you will receive will act as evidence for your employer or the Department of Work and Pensions that you are advised to shield and may be eligible for SSP or ESA.  

SSP is payable for up to 28 weeks per sickness absence. If an individual has used up their SSP entitlement, they may be able to claim UC and/or ESA when their SSP ends, depending on individual circumstances.  

SSP is intended as a safety net for individuals who are clinically extremely vulnerable, in cases where their employer chooses not to furlough them under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and does not have other suitable policies in place (e.g. the ability to work from home, or the provision of special leave). 

What support is available for self-employed CEVs who cannot work from home?  

The Government recognises the continued impact that coronavirus (COVID-19) has had on the self-employed and has extended the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).  

The SEISS Grant Extension provides critical support to the self-employed in the form of two grants, each available for three month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021. 

For further information please visit Self employment income support scheme grant extension

How can CEVs access medicines if they cannot go to the pharmacy?  

If friends and family are not able to collect medicines for you, then you will also be eligible for free medicines delivery.  

Please contact your pharmacy to inform them that you are clinically extremely vulnerable and need your medicines delivered, and they will arrange this free of charge.  

What mental health support is available for CEVs during this difficult period?  

Anyone concerned about their mental health should speak to their GP or existing care team, or can access further advice via NHS.UK. Online self-referral options are commonly available for some services including children and young people’s mental health services, and psychological therapies services for adults with common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.  

Every Mind Matters website is available for everyone with advice and practical steps that you can take to support your wellbeing and manage your mental health during this pandemic.  

You may also find helpful resources, including information on how to access counselling and psychotherapy, on the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy’s website (https://www.bacp.co.uk/).  

All mental health providers, including providers of psychological therapies services, have been issued with guidance to encourage them to deliver care remotely so that vulnerable groups, including those who are shielding, can receive care safely.  

Mental health trusts in England have been instructed to put in place 24/7 crisis lines for all ages so people can get urgent help whenever they need it. A national service finder for local urgent mental health telephone lines is now available on the NHS.UK website.  

If you or someone you care for are experiencing a mental health crisis, we urge you to make contact with a local health professional immediately.  

What help is available to pay my mortgage during this lockdown?  

The mortgage holiday will be extended. Borrowers who have been impacted by coronavirus and have not yet had a mortgage payment holiday will be entitled to a six month holiday, and those that have already started a mortgage payment holiday will be able to top up to six months without this being recorded on their credit file.   

For borrowers who have taken six months’ holiday and continue to face ongoing financial difficulties, lenders should continue to provide support through tailored forbearance options. This could include granting new mortgage payment holidays. Homeowners in this situation should speak to their lender to discuss their options.  

Can I be evicted from my home during this lockdown period?  

Measures to protect tenants during the COVID-19 outbreak remain in place.     

Landlords must provide a 6-month notice of evictions for all but the most egregious cases. Furthermore, no bailiff enforcement will occur during the national lockdown, in line with the existing position for tier 2 and 3 Local COVID Alert Levels.   

Can I leave my home if myself or my children are at risk of domestic abuse?   

You do not have to stay in your home if you need to leave to escape domestic abuse.   

Any individual in danger and who is unable to talk on the phone, should call 999 and then either press 55 on a mobile phone when prompted  or wait on a landline and you will be connected to a police call handler who will be able to assist you without you having to speak. 

Should my  CEV  child go to school?  

More evidence has emerged that shows there is a very low risk of children becoming very unwell from COVID-19, even for children with existing health conditions. Most children originally identified as clinically extremely vulnerable no longer need to follow this advice. Speak to your GP or specialist clinician if you have not already done so, to understand whether your child should still be classed as clinically extremely vulnerable. 

Those children whose doctors have confirmed they are still clinically extremely vulnerable are advised not to attend school whilst this advice is in place.  

What  provisions will be made available to support children who need to access remote learning and cannot attend school?   

If following a discussion with your GP or clinician you child is unable to attend school, your school will make appropriate arrangements for them to be able to continue their education at home. 

I am  CEV, should my child go to school?   

Children who live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, but who are not clinically extremely vulnerable themselves, should still attend school. 

Should staff who are  CEV continue to work in education and childcare settings?   

No. Government advice is that all CEV individuals should work at home where possible, regardless of which sector they work in. If you cannot work from home then you should not attend work.  

If you cannot attend work for this reason, you may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA). The letter you will receive will act as evidence for your employer or the Department of Work and Pensions that you are advised to shield and may be eligible for SSP or ESA.  

If you were on payroll before 30 October 2020 you may also be eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough), which is being extended until 2 December. Please speak to you employer if you think you are eligible. 

Should staff in education and childcare settings who live with someone who is CEV, stay at home? 

Those who work in the education or childcare sectors who live with someone who is CEV can still attend work if they cannot work from home, in line with the wider rules set out in the new National Restrictions from 5 November. 

Am I/CEVs safe to send my child to nursery?

More evidence has emerged that shows there is a very low risk of children becoming very unwell from COVID-19, even for children with existing health conditions. Most children originally identified as clinically extremely vulnerable no longer need to follow this advice. Speak to your GP or specialist clinician if you have not already done so, to understand whether your child should still be classed as clinically extremely vulnerable. Those children whose doctors have confirmed they are still CEV are advised not to attend early years settings whilst this advice is in place.  

Attendance at early years settings will continue to be voluntary and non-statutory, though we encourage parents to continue to send their children unless they are advised that their child remains CEV. 

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