Coronavirus & Useful Information


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Anything you can do to make things a little less stressful for others during the Coronavirus outbreak can go a long way, especially for those in high-risk groups. Volunteer Centre Kensington & Chelsea is coordinating the community response to the crisis, and you can register your availability here

If you are an organisation and need volunteers to support programmes or services you are running in response to the Coronavirus, please register the details here

 

Important Information

 

Omicron updates:

 

  • There is a new Covid variant of concern which has reached the UK known as the Omicron variant. Cases have been identified in London. 22 confirmed cases of Omicron in the UK (as of 01/12/21). None have been detected in Kensington and Chelsea so far. 
  • We expect to see Omicron cases rising in the coming few weeks. 
  • It’s in the nature of an pandemic to give rise to new variants. Each variant is likely to more deadly and transmissible than the previous. 
  • Despite the new variant, the deaths have reduced by 11% in the last week- thanks to vaccinations.

 

     

Boosters update

 

  • Best single defence against Omicron is getting fully vaccinated and boosted when it’s your turn. 
  • Over 14 million more adults (all over the age of 18 years) have become eligible for the booster, and the target is to offer it to them by the end of January. 
  • Everyone aged 18 and above in England who has had their second dose of COVID-19 Vaccination at least 3 months ago will soon be eligible for a Booster jab. 
  • However, please don’t try and book your booster jab until the NHS says it’s your turn. 
  • The NHS is increasing capacity in the next few weeks, and will contact people between the ages of 18-39 years when it’s their turn to book. The Government will work through the age group by going down in 5-year bands. 

 

          

New safety measures:

 

New and temporary measures have been introduced from Tuesday 30 November as a precaution to slow down the spread of a newly identified variant of COVID-19, Omicron. 

  • All international arrivals must take a Day-2 PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result. 
  • All contacts of suspected Omicron cases must self-isolate, regardless of their vaccination status or age and will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace. 
  • Face coverings are now compulsory in shops and other settings such as banks, post offices and hairdressers, as well as and on public transport unless you are exempt. All hospitality settings will be exempt. 
  • All staff, visitors and pupils or students in secondary school years 7 and above are strongly advised to wear a face covering in communal areas, unless exempt. 
  • South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, and Namibia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola have been added to the UK’s travel red list. Passengers returning from any of these countries will need to isolate in a quarantine hotel. Quarantine exemptions due to compassionate and medical reasons apply. More details here.

 

     

Simple ways to protect yourself from COVID-19:

 

  • Take a rapid lateral flow test if you will be in a high-risk situation that day, or before you visit people who are at higher risk of severe illness. You are at higher risk if you are in an enclosed or crowded space, or there is limited fresh air. 
  • If you are symptomatic, please book a PCR test immediately. You can also attend the PCR Mobile Unit at Kensington Town Hall seven days a week. You must book online to attend and bring your mobile phone with you.
  • Self-isolate if positive and, if eligible, access the available financial support to help you do this.
  • Stay at home if unwell, to reduce the risk of transmission to others. 
  • Meet in well-ventilated areas, where possible, such as outdoors or indoors with windows open. 
  • Download the NHS COVID-19 App, and keep your Bluetooth on, in case you are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace. 
  • Get fully vaccinated with both doses, and book your booster jab, if you are eligible.

 

If partners are interested, there is a Public Health briefing covering all of this and opportunity to ask questions next week Tuesday 7th December, 5pm-6pm for Community, Voluntary and Faith groups. 

Updates will be provided by Professor Kevin Fenton, Regional Director London Office for Health Improvement and Disparities and Helene Brown from NHS London. The session will be hosted by Deputy Mayor for Communities and Social Justice Dr Debbie Weekes-Bernard. 

Click here for Zoom Login details:    

Meeting ID: 881 4879 2016
Passcode: 397174

 

  


 

Government response to Coronavirus

Government guidance - Coronavirus: How to help safely

For urgent medical help, contact the NHS 111 online service 

Click here for information on Coronavirus and Children.

Click here to get Coronavirus support as a clinically extremely vulnerable person.

Click here and here to protect yourself from criminals exploiting COVID-19 fears.

  

Information for staff and volunteers working in the community

Safeguarding adults for people self isolating

Safeguarding adults for Covid-19 volunteer group

Coronavirus Scams

   

Mental Health

Mental health guidance for young people and children

The Government has shared some new guidance on how you can help young people and children with their mental health. Try some of their tips and remember to look after yourself as well.

There are a few ways you can stay well and work on your mental health. You can:

  • stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media
  • try to keep yourself busy – you could try activities like cooking, reading, online learning and watching films
  • do light exercise at home, or outside once a day

 

Coronavirus and Mental Health

Click here to download short guide for people with severe mental illnesses on practical ways to protect and support physical health during the pandemic.

 

Counselling & Support 

The Caravan Telephone service is a free service offering a core service of listening and emotional support. Open seven days a week, there is no need to book or arrange in advance. Call 020 7103 1802, email or click here for more information. 

 

Bereavement support for families

Important information on the help and support available and to help bereaved families, friends or next of kin make important decisions during this national emergency.

Please click here for more information. 

  

Voluntary Sector, Agencies and Professionals helpline (V-SAP Helpline)

Kensington & Chelsea Social Council have set up a temporary helpline for the Voluntary Sector, other agencies and health professionals to call and ask about the support that is available locally for your clients, service users or patients during the Corona Virus Pandemic.

Call 020 7243 9804 or email health@kcsc.org.uk. The helpline is available Monday - Friday between 10am and 4pm.

 


 

Domestic Abuse 

New Government Guidance on Domestic Abuse

Click here for more information.

 

Ascent Moving Forward Group

Ascent Moving Forward Group is a 6-8 week educational programme for women and girls aged 16 plus, who have experienced or are at risk of domestic and / or sexual violence.

You can refer women from the following Boroughs: Bromley, Croydon, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Hounslow, Kensington & Chelsea, Lewisham, Tower Hamlets and Westminster.   

Before you send this referral, you will need to confirm whether your client is able to access sessions remotely online. Participants will need to have access to a smart phone, laptop, computer or adequate wifi / ethernet connection and a microphone and speaker on their device or headphones.

Download leaflet

Download referral form

 


 

Support for rough sleepers

RBKC are working very closely with the Mayor of London to accommodate and support all rough sleepers. The Rough Sleeping Team are on our streets day and night identifying residents sleeping rough, and are responding to referrals from the public. Mental health specialists are supporting outreach services to make sure everyone has somewhere safe to stay.

If you wish to report someone sleeping rough you can email: streetoutreach@rbkc.gov.uk. Alternatively you can contact StreetLink: 0300 500 0914 or www.streetlink.org.uk

 

RBKC Family Information Service website updates for COVID-19

You can find useful information and resources for families and those working with children and young people here.

  

ACAS - Coronavirus guidance, carrying over paid holiday and short term working

Click here for more information. 

  


 

Schools 

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687

Opening hours:

8am to 6pm – Monday to Friday
10am to 4pm – Saturday and Sunday 

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UK PRN) available when calling the helpline.

Collection of guidance for educational settings on GOV.​UK

All of the Department for Education’s coronavirus guidance for educational settings can be found here.

  


 

Financial Aid 

Apply for a Hardship Fund

Are you a family or individual experiencing difficulties due to Coronavirus? RBKC have added an additional £500,000 to their Hardship Fund and you can now apply to receive support.

Residents can apply for a hardship grant online or by calling 020 7745 6464 between 8.30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Learn more about the Hardship Fund here.

  

Council Tax Reduction Scheme

A Council Tax Reduction Scheme already offers 100% relief on council tax to the most in need. The Council is looking at extra help for the 3400 people of working age who currently receive partial support as part of its response to COVID-19.

You can find more information here.

 

London Community Response Fund

You can find more information about the fund here.

        

Claim a grant through the coronavirus (COVID-19) Self-employment Income Support Scheme

You can now claim a grant from The Government if you are self-employed or a member of a partnership that have lost income due to coronavirus. The scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. This may be extended if needed.

Find out more here.

 

Chancellor sets out extra £750 million Coronavirus funding for frontline charities

Charities across the UK will receive a £750 million package of support to ensure they can continue their vital work during the coronavirus outbreak.

Click here for more information.

 

Support for businesses

The Council is already supporting businesses offering rent relief to market traders and will be contacting businesses as soon as they know how the government’s business rates relief holiday will be implemented.

Click here for more information.