Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
We have made a list of questions we are most often asked. We will update these regularly.
Question: What are the new rules from 14th October 2020?
The government has given each area in England a ‘Covid Alert Level’ of either Medium, High or Very High. You can use the GOV.uk postcode checker to find out which alert level has been given to your local area, and what the rules are here: https://www.gov.uk/find-coronavirus-local-restrictions
Cheshire (including Cheshire West and Chester and Cheshire East), Lancashire and Bolton have been given a local Covid alert level of HIGH. This means that you should:
- Not meet with anybody who does not live in your home or ‘support bubble’ indoors. This means at home or in a public place.
- Only meet people outside in a group of no more than 6 people (the rule of 6, which is explained below). Outside means gardens and public spaces
- You can carry on going to schools, universities or places of worship
Question: I was ‘shielding’ earlier on this year, is there any new guidance about this?
If you are ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ to Coronavirus, this means that you might become much more unwell if you catch it. If you are in this category you will have been sent a letter from your GP or the NHS and may have been ‘shielding’ earlier this year. There is new (October 2020) guidance for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable here:
Question: 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.
You can find more information about making a support bubble here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/making-a-support-bubble-with-another-household
Question: What is the latest guidance for people who get a Direct Payment?
Answer: The latest guidance (September 2020) and easy read version is available here:
Question: I am worried about the new rules that I will have to wear a face covering in shops. I would find this very difficult, what should I do?
Answer: The government has announced that from 24 July 2020 people will need to wear a face covering in shops, in the same way as they do on public transport unless they are not able to do so because of a disability or health condition.
The guidance makes it very clear that you do not have to wear a face covering if your disability or health condition makes it difficult for you to.
There is also guidance on what to do if other people wearing masks makes it difficult for you to understand what is being said.
The full guidance is available here
Question: I am confused about the changes to the shielding scheme. What is going to happen?
Answer: The government has announced that if you been ‘shielding’ (staying at home because you are very vulnerable to coronavirus) then you can start to meet up with groups of up to 6 people outdoors from 6th July, and you can stop shielding completely after the 1st August 2020.
We will update this page with information and guidance on this when we can.
Guidance is available here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19
Question: I have a disability that makes it difficult to wear a mask, but I’ve heard that I have to wear one to use public transport, is this true?
Answer: No. If you have a disability that makes it difficult to wear a mask you do not have to wear one. There is guidance available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers#exemptions-face-coverings
Question: Can I get a Coronavirus/Covid-19 test for me and/or my personal assistant?
Answer: Yes, if you or your personal assistant has the symptoms below you can get a test. Symptoms are:
-A high temperature. Feeling hot, you do not need to take your temperature
– A new, continuous cough. Coughing a lot for more than an hour
– If you feel you have lost your sense of taste or smell, or your sense of taste or smell has changed
To get a test for your personal assistant (and anyone they live with) they will need to use the government’s self referral portal for essential workers https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested#how-to-arrange-a-test
To get a test for yourself, you will need to use the NHS website www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
If you can’t use the website you can use the new NHS phone service to arrange a test by calling 119.
Question : What if my Personal Assistant is off sick and cannot get a sick note?
Answer: Please write down the dates your personal assistant was off sick and let your payroll provider know these dates by email. Your Personal Assistant can give you a sick note at a later date. Please keep the sick note with your Direct Payment records.
If your Personal Assistant is self- isolating because of coronavirus symptoms they do not need a sick note and will get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) as normal.
Question: Can I get Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for my Personal Assistant?
If you or anyone one who lives with you has symptoms of coronavirus this can be provided free of charge. If your Personal Assistant normally gets PPE to support you, this should continue.
If your direct payment contains funding to purchase PPE for your Personal Assistant, you should continue to use that funding to purchase PPE.
If you live in Lancashire there is a supply of PPE available at the office of our partner, Disability Equality North West. You can contact them by email at [email protected]
If you live in Cheshire, please contact your Arrangement of Care and Support Adviser at Disability Positive who will be able to help you.
If you live in Bolton, we will update details as soon as we can.
. There is also government guidance if you receive a direct payment available here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-people-receiving-direct-payments
Our services during the coronavirus outbreak
We are here to help, so please let us know if you are struggling. We will do our best to help you.
Our services will not be doing any home visits until further notice although we can still support you by phone or by video phone (For example, Facetime).
Please call us on 01606 331 853 if you need any support.
Community engagement activities including Good Company, Buzz Group will run weekly calls by Zoom. We are planning to run some small social distanced in person activities from in October and November if we can
We are doing wellbeing checks with all of our customers, to check that you are ok and if you need anything.
What is coronavirus?
COVID-19 or coronavirus is a new illness that has infected many people around the world.
An easy read guide to coronavirus is available here, produced by Inclusion North
If you have it, you may have a fever (high temperature) and a cough. You may also loose your sense of smell and taste. Sometimes this can get worse and become severe pneumonia (a chest infection) which can make it difficult to breathe.
If you have a long term health condition, are older, or have a weakened immune system, coronavirus can be much more serious.
If you think you have the symptoms (the signs of having coronavirus) you should use the NHS website or call 111. The website will ask about your symptoms and you may be asked to go for a test. https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19
Do not contact your GP unless you are not well.
Links to advice on coronavirus
Below are links to general advice and information
These links are to information or support not managed by Disability Positive but may be useful:
- Coronavirus overview – nhs.uk website
- Postcode checker for Covid alert levels in England – GOV.uk website
- Guidance on Covid-19 for people who receive a Direct Payment GOV.UK website
- Frequently Asked Questions for people who employ a Personal Assistant -Skills for Care website
- How to make a ‘support bubble’ with another household – GOV.uk website
- Easy read guide to coronavirus
- Coronavirus: NHS Advice – nhs.uk website
- NHS Coronavirus 111 Service
- Coronavirus: latest information and advice – GOV.UK website
- Cheshire West and Chester Council Coronavirus information
- Live Well Cheshire West and Chester – advice and information
- Cheshire East Council Coronavirus Information
- Lancashire County Council Coronavirus Information
- Bolton Council Coronavirus Information
- Government advice on Coronavirus for supporting living and home care gov.uk website
- Advice on Coronavirus for carers from Carers UK
- Facebook support group ‘The Bunker’. This is a support group for disabled people who are self isolating and employ a personal assistant.
- Disability Rights UK
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