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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/supporting-people-outside-of-their-home/supporting-people-outside-of-their-home
Some people need support when outside their home. This could be for:
- getting around safely in unfamiliar settings
- communicating with others
- going shopping
This guidance is for people who need support outside their home and people who provide this support. Those providing support may include:
- family or friends (who may, or may not, live with or be in a support bubble with you)
- staff in services that you are using (such as at a railway station)
By providing support like this, people who may have had problems going out on their own while maintaining social distancing will be better able to get out of their house and enjoy social and leisure opportunities, while reducing the chance of accidental contact with people around them. This advice is of a general nature and should be treated as a guide.
It is important to follow all the other government advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) including staying safe outside your home.
Who should help you
To minimise the risk to yourself and others it is usually best if you receive support from someone within your household or support bubble or, where appropriate, your carer.
If this is not possible then you may be supported by someone else if other precautions are taken. This may include family or friends who do not live with you, staff in services that you are using and volunteers.
What everyone should do when they provide support
You can continue to receive support if needed, as long as the person supporting you does not have any of the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). This is particularly important if you are clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable.
People providing support should follow advice on maintaining good hygiene by:
- washing their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser
- avoiding touching their face, particularly their eyes, nose and mouth
- catching any coughs or sneezes in a tissue or their elbow, put used tissues immediately in the bin and wash their hands afterwards
More information is available if your family or primary carer has COVID-19 and therefore cannot support you. Please see the contingency planning section of supporting adults with learning disabilities and autistic adults.
Being supported by someone in your household or support bubble or your normal carer
You should follow social distancing guidance as far as possible with those outside your household and support bubble. You should limit meeting outdoors to groups of up to 6 people including anyone that is supporting you.
If you need support when inside another person’s home, you should only be with the person supporting you and people in that other household. When in other indoor locations, such as a COVID-secure cinema or restaurant, you should follow guidance on social distancing (2 metres or 6 steps) and, if you are able to do so, wear a face covering.
Please consult the local restrictions page to see if any restrictions are in place in your area. Support can only be provided in line with any national or local restrictions currently in force. You should regularly check COVID-19 outbreak FAQs on what you can and cannot do.
If you believe you need new or additional support, you should contact your local authority’s adult social care service for advice and information on what support may be available and the process for determining if you are eligible.
Being supported by someone who isn’t in your household or support bubble and is not your normal carer
Where you need support from someone who isn’t in your household or support bubble and is not your normal carer, you and the person providing the support should, where possible, keep 2 metres away from each other. You can reduce this to 1 metre if you’re taking additional precautions, such as:
- keeping any interactions of closer than 2 metres distance to as short a time as possible
- trying to avoid face-to-face contact with the person supporting you – side-by-side contact is preferable, and if face-to-face contact is needed, this should be for as short a time as possible
- wearing a face covering (unless you are unable to or are exempt from wearing one) if you’re going to be supported indoors, or get close contact support for extended periods indoors or outdoors
If you require support with communication due to a health condition, you can ask, either verbally or in writing, for someone to remove a face covering to enable them to communicate with you.
You may be part of a larger gathering, but the same person (or people, if you need support from more than one person at a time) should support you at all times.
Receiving support from volunteers or organisations
You may receive support from voluntary organisations, or when accessing businesses such as larger shops, train stations or a hospital clinic, where the person providing the support may be helping multiple people in a day.
When asking for support you should set out what support you need and provide your name and contact details. The organisation providing the support should maintain records of your name and contact details, who provided support to you and when, for 21 days. This will be maintained to support NHS Test and Trace. If you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace, you should follow their guidance.
Before you receive support, the organisation or volunteer will:
- ask whether you have symptoms of COVID-19 (or if you have been advised to stay at home or self-isolate)
- wash their hands before providing you with support
You and the person providing the support should follow the guidance outlined above for support from someone who isn’t within your household or support bubble and is not your normal carer. For everybody involved, the principal actions to avoid the spread of COVID-19 remain social distancing and good hand and respiratory hygiene.
If you have symptoms
If you or someone in your household has symptoms, you should follow the stay at home guidance.
More information is available on what steps to follow if you are symptomatic and receive informal care or support from family and friends, including who you can contact to ask for help.