Two schemes to help people self-isolate to be introduced in Wales
People told to self-isolate for up to 14 days will be eligible for financial support from the Welsh Government as two new schemes are unveiled today [Friday October 30].
People on low incomes can apply to receive a £500 payment if they have tested positive for coronavirus or they are asked to self-isolate by the NHS Wales Test Trace Protect service because they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.
And a new top-up payment is being introduced for the social care workforce in Wales, to increase statutory sick pay to their normal wages if they have to take time off because they have coronavirus or are self-isolating.
Up to £32m is being made available by the Welsh Government for the two schemes to support people and remove the financial barriers faced by people needing to self-isolate.
First Minister, Mark Drakeford said:
The pandemic has had a huge impact on everyone and we have asked people to sacrifice so much this year, including during this latest firebreak. We are committed to doing everything we can to support people and protect people’s health and wellbeing.
Asking people to self-isolate is an important way to break the transmission of the virus but for many people it can mean the loss of income.
We all have a responsibility to protect our own health and our loved ones’ too but we know just how difficult that can be when faced with a choice between staying at home and not being able being able to feed your family or going to work.
These new support schemes are targeted towards people on low incomes and are designed to relieve some of the financial pressures people face if they are asked to self-isolate.
A £500 fixed payment will be available to people who are asked to self-isolate because they have tested positive for coronavirus or because they have been identified as a close contact by the NHS Wales Test Trace Protect service.
The payment is available to people on a low income who are unable to work from home and would lose income as a result of self-isolating. To be eligible, people must be self-isolating and in receipt of Universal Credit or another specified benefit.
The final arrangements are being made for the scheme to go live. People will be able to apply for the payments via their local authority website and they will be backdated to October 23.
The Statutory Sick Pay Enhancement scheme for social care staff working in care homes, domiciliary care and as personal assistants will start on 1 November and will run until 31 March 2021.
The scheme will top up statutory sick pay to eligible care workers’ full pay if they need to take time off with suspected or confirmed coronavirus or if they are self-isolating because someone in their household has coronavirus or they have been told to by the NHS Wales Test Trace Protect service.
Julie James, Minister for Housing and Local Government said:
If you are told to self-isolate, working from home is not an option for everyone, making this an even more stressful period for people. Some people can feel under pressure to go to work, just to pay the bills.
The £500 self-isolation payment and the SSP enhancement scheme will help us protect the vulnerable and give people the financial security they need to stay-at-home and break the cycle of transmission.
There will be some people who do not meet the criteria for the £500 payment but who will suffer financial hardship as a result of being asked to self-isolate. This is why we have introduced a discretionary element to the self-isolation payment, which will be available to a wider group of people.
Financial support is already available to people through the Emergency Assistance Payment coronavirus hardship element of the Discretionary Assistance Fund.
Latest News from
£3.5m Circular Economy fund for public bodies to support a green recovery opens27/11/2020 16:05:00
A new £3.5m round of the Circular Economy Fund for public bodies for post-Covid response and a green recovery in Wales opens for applications today.
Welsh Government works with BAME community partners to address racial inequality in Wales27/11/2020 15:05:00
The Welsh Government has awarded 25 grants totalling £115,580 to community groups across Wales to help put Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) voices at the heart of the development of Wales’ Race Equality Action Plan.
£35 million investment in Welsh homes for the future27/11/2020 14:05:00
Low carbon housing, retrofitting to improve energy efficiency and training opportunities for prisoners will feature in projects receiving funding to create affordable homes for the future.
Extra £2.6m for local authorities to support Council Tax Reduction Scheme27/11/2020 13:05:00
Local councils across Wales are set to receive an additional £2.6m to help them meet the increasing demand for the Welsh Government’s Council Tax Reduction Scheme.
Record year for Wales’ recycling as 64% target exceeded27/11/2020 11:05:00
The recycling rate for Wales has reached a record high, with the country as a whole exceeding the latest recycling target and achieving 65.14% for 2019/20, according to statistics published yesterday.
Over 200 Welsh statues, streets and buildings connected to the slave trade listed in nationwide audit27/11/2020 09:05:00
In July, following the death of George Floyd and a month of action by the Black Lives Matter movement, First Minister Mark Drakeford ordered an urgent audit of statues, street and building names to address Wales’ connections with slavery and the slave trade.
IT products and services (ii): IT hardware26/11/2020 16:05:00
Our IT Hardware sub-lot for large customer organisations, has recently been awarded on the newest version of our popular IT Products and Services (ITPS2) framework.
South East Wales Transport Commission recommends major improvements for transport in the region26/11/2020 15:28:00
The South East Wales Transport Commission has today published its final recommendations.
Have your say about local walking and cycling routes26/11/2020 14:05:00
Welsh Government is pushing forward in its ambition to make active travel a realistic alternative by making it easier for people to tell their local councils where existing routes need to be improved and new routes built.
“The Chancellor has made the wrong choices and broken promises”– Finance Minister responds to UK Government Spending Review26/11/2020 12:52:00
Finance Minister Rebecca Evans yesterday responded to the UK Government Spending Review saying that she is deeply concerned and disappointed that promises have been broken and the wrong choices made.