General Advice on Coronavirus
JOB SEEKERS /UNIVERSAL CREDIT CLAIMANTS
‘People receiving benefits do not have to attend Jobcentre appointments for at least 3 months, starting from Thursday 19 March 2020. People will continue to receive their benefits as normal, but all requirements to attend the Jobcentre in person are suspended.
People can still make applications for benefits online if they are eligible.
Jobcentres remain open, and will continue to support people who are not able to use phones and online, including homeless people
Stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms
If you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. See ending isolation section for more information
If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill
It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
For anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period. See ending isolation section for more information
If you can, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period
If you cannot move vulnerable people out of your home, stay away from them as much as possible
If you have coronavirus symptoms:
do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
you do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home
Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home
Plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure that you can successfully stay at home and consider what can be done for vulnerable people in the household
Ask your employer, friends and family to help you to get the things you need to stay at home
Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser
If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999
Taking your children to school
The government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.
It is important to underline that schools, colleges and other educational establishments remain safe places for children. But the fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.
Schools are, therefore, being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children – children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.
Vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plans.
Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.
Please, therefore, follow these key principles:
- If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
- If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
- Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
- Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
- Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.
If you’re not well
You’ll still get your usual sick pay. If you’re not sure what you get, you can check if you’re entitled to sick pay. you can check if you’re entitled to sick pay on GOV.UK
If you’re claiming benefits or asked to go to a medical assessment
You should still go to your usual appointments, for example at the Jobcentre Plus. You should also still go to any medical assessments – for example for ESA or PIP.
If you don’t, you might not get the money you’re entitled to.
If you’re ill and can’t go to your appointment, phone the office paying your benefit to explain why you can’t go.
If you’re claiming Universal Credit, you’ll need to use your online journal to explain why you can’t go to your appointment.
If you’re going on holiday
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) now advises British people against all non-essential travel worldwide. This advice takes effect immediately and applies initially for a period of 30 days.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions. All countries may restrict travel without notice.
If you now need to change or cancel your travel plans, follow these steps:
contact your airline, travel company, cruise line or other transport and accommodation providers
get in touch with your insurance provider
continue to follow the NHS coronavirus guidance
The FCO was already advising against all but essential travel or all travel to some areas or countries due to risks that do not relate to COVID-19. This advice remains in place. Check FCO travel advice pages for the latest information.
If you need further advice
Please do not visit our offices, we are only seeing people by prior appointment. Please contact us by phone on 01233 626185 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org. We will return you call as soon as we can.