Coronavirus (Covid-19) support to self-isolate

From 16 August, people fully vaccinated or under 18 will not need to self-isolate after close contact with someone who has COVID-19. You’ll still need to take a PCR test and self-isolate if it’s positive, or if you have symptoms.

Lots of support is available to you if you need help to self-isolate.

A commitment has been made by councils across Cambridgeshire to support everyone who needs help to self-isolate as part of efforts to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

Test and Trace Support Payment scheme

The Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme which is run by each of the district and city councils across Cambridgeshire entitles people who meet certain criteria to a one-off payment of £500 if they lose income as a result of not being able to work. This payment can be made available on multiple occasions if a person comes into contact with people who test positive a second or even third time

Please note: From 16 August, people fully vaccinated or under 18 will not need to self-isolate after close contact with someone who has COVID-19. You’ll still need to take a PCR test and self-isolate if it’s positive, or if you have symptoms.

You will be eligible if you meet all the following criteria:

  • you have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • you are employed or self-employed
  • you cannot work from home and will lose income as a result
  • you are claiming at least one of the following benefits: Universal Credit, Working Tax Credits, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Pension Credit or Housing Benefit

You will not be eligible if: you have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate; you continue to receive your full wages or have been furloughed; you can work from home during a period of self-isolation or you are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive).

This financial support is a result of the government placing a legal requirement on people to self-isolate when instructed to by NHS Test and Trace and introducing tougher fines for breaking the rules.

You could be fined if you do not stay at home and self-isolate following a positive test result for COVID-19, or if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace and instructed to self-isolate because you are a contact of someone who has had a positive test result.

How to apply

If you meet the above criteria please contact your district or city council to apply.

Please ensure you have the following evidence:

  • NHS Test and Trace ID number
  • Your National Insurance Number
  • A copy of your latest bank statement (one issued within the last two months which must clearly show proof of earnings)
  • Proof of self-employment e.g. recent business bank statement (within the last two months), most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment returns

Agreed payments will be sent within 3 working days and is subject to income tax but will not effect any Universal Credit or other benefit payments you may currently be receiving.

Applications are for one person only and any further applications within the same household must be made by each individual. Separate self-isolation payment claims can be made for each period of self-isolation.

Additional support

For anyone not eligible for the government support, a local discretionary fund can offer financial support to make sure people don’t suffer financially.

In certain cases you may be able to apply for a £500 discretionary payment if you meet all the other eligibility criteria above, but:

  • you do not currently receive Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit; and
  • you will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while you are self-isolating.

In addition, the network of support hubs run by the district and city councils can also support people with grocery shopping, medicine collection, dog walking, befriending services and in many other ways.

Please contact your local district or city council for more information.

You may also be able to get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from your employer for every day of work you miss because of coronavirus. You can check if you are eligible for SSP online on the gov.uk website.

If you have barriers preventing you from self-isolating, please contact your local council. We can help.