Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): unpaid carers providing personal care

Published: 27 Apr 2020
Last updated: 23 Dec 2020 - see all updates

Using PPE to help prevent the spread of the virus for people who visit or live with a friend/family and provide help with washing or dressing.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): unpaid carers providing personal care
Advice for carers who do not live in the same household

Advice for carers who do not live in the same household

Local protection guidance has been published which indicates which COVID-19 protection level applies in each local area. It also includes information on what you can and cannot do at each level.

At all of the protection levels, you can still go into another household to provide care and support for a vulnerable person. This can include providing emotional support for someone whose wellbeing is at risk, including for those who are isolated because of disability or a caring situation.

Neither I nor the person I care for have any COVID-19 symptoms

Follow the general advice.

Wear any personal protective equipment (PPE) such as aprons or gloves as you normally would depending on the type of care you provide. 

You should wear a face covering if you cannot maintain physical distancing while providing guide support to someone outwith your household. No additional PPE for COVID-19 is required unless the person you care for is symptomatic of COVID-19.

Shielding

Shielding was paused on 1 August 2020. Most people who have been shielding can follow general safety guidance. However it is important that they follow stringent physical distancing and hygiene measures.

Ideally someone in the same household group should provide care for your friend or family member. However, you can choose to provide care to someone outwith your household group.

You should take extra precautions to keep both you and the person you care for safe. This includes:

  • wearing a face covering when supporting them physically
  • maintaining physical distancing from other people
  • washing your hands often

The person I care for has COVID-19, symptoms of COVID-19 or has been asked to self-isolate by Test and Protect

Contact your local social work department to make alternative care arrangements. You should not provide direct care if the person you care for develops symptoms of suspected COVID-19, if they are confirmed positive COVID-19 or if they have been asked to self isolate by test and protect. You should seek to make alternative arrangements for care.

You should follow the guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) on NHS inform. 

Only in an emergency, where alternative care cannot be provided by someone else you should:

  • Ensure vigilance with the general advice
  • wear any personal protective equipment (PPE) such as aprons or gloves as you normally would depending on the type of care you provide. 
  • you should also wear a face mask and eye protection (visor) for the period of time you are providing care for your friend or family member. 
  • after you have provided care directly to the individual, you should remove the face mask, eye protection (and any other PPE) and maintain a distance of 2 metres or more
  • your face mask should be replaced if it becomes damaged, soiled or uncomfortable

Place PPE in a disposable bag and then a secondary disposable bag when removed.  It should be tied and held for 72 hours before being placed in the household bin for collection. Ensure you perform hand hygiene after removal and disposal of PPE.

Wearing PPE will not remove the risk completely of either becoming infected with COVID-19, or being identified as a close contact through Test & Protect and asked to isolate for the required period but it will reduce the risk considerably.

I (carer) have COVID-19, symptoms of COVID-19 or have been asked to self-isolate by Test and Protect

Contact your local social work department to make alternative care arrangements. You should not provide direct care if you develop symptoms of suspected COVID-19, if you are confirmed positive COVID-19 or if you have been asked to self isolate by test and protect. You should seek to make alternative arrangements for care.

You should cease all visits to their household and follow the guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) on NHS inform. 

Only in an emergency, where alternative care cannot be provided by someone else you should:

  • wear any personal protective equipment (PPE) such as aprons or gloves as you normally would, depending on the type of care you provide
  • you should also wear a face mask for the period of time you are providing care for your friend or family member 
  • after you have provided care directly to the individual, you should remove the face mask (and any other PPE) and maintain a distance of 2 metres or more
  • your face mask should be replaced if it becomes damaged, soiled or uncomfortable

Place PPE in a disposable bag and then a secondary disposable bag when removed.  It should be tied and held for 72 hours before being placed in the household bin for collection. Ensure you perform hand hygiene after removal and disposal of PPE.

Wearing PPE will not remove the risk completely of either becoming infected with COVID-19, or being identified as a close contact through Test & Protect and asked to isolate for the required period but it will reduce the risk considerably.


First published: 27 Apr 2020 Last updated: 23 Dec 2020 -