Being a deputy or attorney during the coronavirus outbreak

Find out how you can continue to act in the best interests of the client or donor, during the pandemic.

This guidance was withdrawn on

This page has been withdrawn because it’s no longer current. Read more about living safely with coronavirus (COVID-19).

Applies to England and Wales

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, your role and responsibilities as a deputy or attorney remain the same.

On 21 February 2022 the government updated the guidance on staying safe and how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. You can find more information about this on the coronavirus guidance page. There is specific guidance for Wales.

I need to stay at home, what can I do?

If you are staying at home, you must continue to make decisions for the person. You cannot ask anyone else to do it for you. However, once you have made the decision you can have someone help with any tasks you cannot do yourself.

If you need to make a decision but want to talk to the person first, think about how urgent it is and whether it could be delayed.

Working with the person’s health or care providers

Being an attorney or deputy does not mean that you can tell a health or care provider they have to use their resources to help the person.

If the person is due to get medical treatment such as the COVID-19 booster vaccine, they need to be able to consent to it. If they lack capacity to consent, as attorney or deputy you should make the decision for them if you have the relevant power. The vaccination team should contact you to find out your decision.

You will not have the power to make that decision if you are a property and affairs deputy or an attorney on a property and financial affairs LPA. In that case, the decision about whether the person receives the vaccine is taken by the person administering the vaccination.

If you are a health and welfare deputy or an attorney on a health and welfare LPA, then you will likely be involved in that decision.

Can I stop acting as an attorney or deputy temporarily?

No, you cannot give up your role temporarily.

If you’re an attorney, you can permanently step down from (‘disclaim’) your role. If you’re a deputy, you can apply to the court to permanently end your deputyship.

You should think carefully before doing this, as it may leave the person without the support they need.

Published 17 April 2020
Last updated 23 February 2022 + show all updates
  1. Amended to reflect new guidance for England and Wales

  2. Update to reflect date of new Welsh guidance

  3. Update to reflect new welsh guidance.

  4. Update to government guideline dates.

  5. Updated the information to make it more succinct and amended the date to reflect new guidance from government

  6. Date change

  7. Updates to Welsh page to reflect guideline changes on 8 October

  8. Updates to English page to reflect guideline changes on 14 September, and to Welsh page to link to new English plan.

  9. Changes made due to 16 August announcement

  10. Updating Welsh translation information to reflect the change to guidance in Wales on 7 August

  11. Large-scale changes to reflect changes to government guidance on 19 July

  12. Update to reflect change to government guidance on 21 June

  13. Added translation

  14. 17 May Roadmap changes

  15. Added translation

  16. changes to welsh version

  17. Changes made due to announcement of roadmap out of lockdown February 2021

  18. Add Welsh translation of the recent English language amendments about vaccinations

  19. Added information about consent and medical treatment such as the COVID-19 vaccination

  20. changes to welsh translation affected by Lockdown 3

  21. Changes due to Lockdown 4

  22. Welsh version edited for updates

  23. amends for local tier restrictions 2/12/20

  24. changes to welsh language version

  25. Changes made due to lockdown 5/11/20

  26. 12 October 2020 lockdown changes

  27. Added Welsh translation and shopping card information

  28. First published.