Responding to COVID-19
National Lockdown: from 6 January
Guidance has been updated to reflect the requirements of the National Lockdown that came into force on 6 January.
Restrictions, safeguards and guidance around visiting care homes remains unchanged since those announced for Tier 4 in December, whereby any visits have to be pre-arranged and conducted from behind substantial screens, visiting pods, or behind windows. No visits will be permitted in the event of an outbreak in the care home.
Clinically extremely vulnerable people should follow resumed shielding guidance and should not attend work, school, college or university. You should limit the time you spend outside the home and only go out for medical appointments, exercise, or if it is essential. If you require support, this can be provided through the Kingston Stronger Together Hub.
New Rapid Testing sites for carers, volunteers, frontline care workers, personal assistants, and for those in supported living or attending day services
If you’re NOT displaying any symptoms of COVID19, you can now get quickly tested at our Community Testing sites. These are;
- For anyone working directly with and/or supports adults, and who doesn’t have coronavirus symptoms
- Now open to people living in Supported Living settings
- Now open for people attending day services.
Why it’s important to be tested if you show NO symptoms
Evidence has shown that people infected with COVID-19 can have no symptoms and still transmit the virus to others without being aware. It is important that we take steps to reduce the risk of transmission by identifying those who may not know they have the virus and are not displaying any symptoms. They should continue to be tested along with colleagues and other carers to keep the risk of further infection at bay, as part of the coordinated response in tackling this pandemic.
The test takes about 10 minutes and provides a result in 30 minutes. Slots for each testing day need to be booked separately and people will need to travel in a COVID secure way to the test sites.
Current Community Testing sites offering Rapid Testing are:
- Kingston University - Main Building, Penrhyn Road, Kingston (Weekdays until 15/01/21 10am - 5pm).
- Chessington Sports Centre - Garrison Lane, Chessington (Week days from 04/01/21 10am - 5pm).
To book your test
Contact the Adult Social Care Team by email: [email protected] who will send you a link through which you can book your test day and time.
Other testing venues will be opened-up shortly to offer Rapid Testing and we will provide updates once these are confirmed.
The Tier 4 Restrictions include
Residents must stay at home except for specific purposes
- Providing care to someone in your bubble, or acting as an approved carer is permissible and is allowed for within the exemptions of the Government guidance.
You must not leave your home to travel unless for work, education, medical reasons - including to get a COVID-19 test, or other legally permitted reasons
- You can travel if you are providing care to a person in another location, or ensuring that someone in your care receives the necessary support, or requires medical attention.
You are only allowed to meet one other person from outside of your household in an outdoor public space
- If providing care to another, or numerous residents please maintain extra care vigilance when meeting friends and family - observing social distancing and wearing a face covering where necessary.
No overnight stays outside your household or support bubble
- If you are part of a support bubble for a family member or friend you can stay overnight at their house. The government guidance states that you are allowed to stay overnight away from your home if you are visiting your support bubble.
You must not leave your Tier 4 area, other than for legally permitted reasons.
- The guidance states that you can travel outside of Tier 4 to visit or stay overnight with your support bubble. For more information on support bubbles you can check the government guidance
Clinically and extremely vulnerable people within Tier 4, are advised to follow the latest updated guidance on shielding. To protect themselves and lower the risk of infection, the guidance advises in relation to work, education, shopping, travel, socialising, medicines, care and support.
Family and Carers
- Visits to care homes can take place with arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, or behind windows. Close-contact indoor visits are not allowed.You should check the guidance on visiting care homes during COVID-19 to find out how visits should be conducted.Visiting care homes during COVID-19 - GOV.UK
- Care homes have access to lateral flow testing which can support in visitation. This test provides a faster result on whether the person tested is COVID-19 Positive or negative. Please be aware however, as with all tests, this is not 100% accurate and the visitor will have to wear full PPE upon visiting the resident even if the result is negative for COVID-19
- You are advised to speak with the care home. Guidance states that visiting can only be permitted if the meeting is outside or behind substantial screens, visiting pods, or behind windows. Visits are permissible if someone is at the end of their life.
- You can visit family member/friends in their own home if you are supporting them or caring for them, but you are advised to follow the key steps and precautions set out within the guidance, ensuring both your own safety and the person you are caring for.
- If you are part of a support bubble for your family member or friend the guidance states that you are allowed to stay overnight away from your home if you are visiting your support bubble
- If you are part of a support bubble for your family member or friend the guidance states that you can travel outside of Tier 4 to visit or stay overnight with your support bubble
- If your family member/friend was supposed to stay with you over Christmas and you cancelled their care visits during this time speak to the provider who provides the care and they will rearrange for care to be provided.
Vaccination against Covid-19
The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is safe and effective. It gives you the best protection against coronavirus. The NHS will let you know when it's your turn to have the vaccine. It's important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then - please wait to be contacted.
At this time, the vaccine is being offered in some hospitals to:
- some people aged 80 and over who already have a hospital appointment in the next few weeks
- people who work in care homes
- health care workers at high risk
The vaccine will be offered more widely, and at other locations, as soon as possible. The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). For more information visit the NHS England website.
Advice for care providers and care professional
With the announcement of London entering Tier 4, we have written to all our care providers providing latest updates on guidance, support, testing and vaccination.
Social Care Workers Covid-19 Vaccine Q&A
London being in Tier 4 brings added restrictions to the daily lives of the people living and working in the borough. Information available at on the government website regarding Tier 4 visits to care homes states. Visits to care homes can take place with arrangements such as substantial screens, visiting pods, or behind windows.
Close-contact indoor visits supported by testing, which are allowed in Tiers 1-3, will not be allowed in Tier 4. This guidance will be updated shortly clarifying how visits in Tier 4 should be conducted.’
- Home Care Providers
- Voluntary Sector Service Providers
- Day Services Providers
- Supported Living Providers
Please ensure you have correct and sufficient supplies of PPE and that your staff are using it correctly, particularly in light of the new variant of the virus that has been identified. Make sure you’re maintaining the recommended safety standards in your day-to-day approaches in line with the latest insights and advice shared in the updated guidance.