Islanders may be eligible for a £500 grant if they need to self-isolate due to coronavirus.
Residents on lower incomes can apply for the national Test and Trace Support Payment if they’re unable to work from home while self-isolating and will lose income as a result.
The one-off payments which do not need to be repaid are designed to help everyone comply with important self-isolation rules and stop the spread of COVID-19 while easing lockdown restrictions.
The scheme has recently been expanded to parents and guardians who are not legally required to self-isolate but need to take time off work to look after a child or young person who is self-isolating.
To check to see if you quality for financial help, visit www.iow.gov.uk/IWtestandtracesupport. The website also includes details of a separate discretionary payment scheme run by the Isle of Wight Council.
Anyone who does not self-isolate following a positive COVID test, or after being told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, could face fines starting at £1,000 and increasing up to £10,000 for repeat offenders or serious breaches.
Simon Bryant, the council’s director of public health, said:
“Together all our actions make a big difference. If you have COVID-19 you need to make sure you don’t pass it on to anyone else.
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“To protect everyone around you, including friends and colleagues, self-isolate when required and book a test within 48 hours. Doing so helps break the chain of transmission, protecting people at risk.
“Self-isolating will help us return to a more normal way of life sooner.”
Self-isolation is when you do not leave your home because you have or might have COVID-19. It is different to lockdown and social-distancing. Residents are advised to prepare a plan for self-isolation. It is more than likely you will have little or no notice that you must self-isolate.
“We know self-isolation isn’t easy but it is vitally important people do take the time to make a plan in case they are ever asked to self-isolate.
“Self-isolation can happen to anyone and it helps to be prepared. Take this opportunity to have a conversation with your family, friends and neighbours to see how you can help each other if required.”
Islanders are being urged to consider how they would access food, who would walk their pets, who may be able to go shopping on their behalf, and whether they’re able to work from home.
People can call the Isle of Wight Coronavirus Helpline on (01983) 823600 for support with food and medicine. They can help if you don’t have friends and family to support you.
For more information on self-isolating and other COVID-related advice, please go to www.keeptheislandsafe.org.