Published: Wednesday, 30 September 2020

As the government makes the guidance on self-isolating a legal requirement, Oxford City Council reminds residents that support is there for them if they need it.

From Monday 28 September anyone testing positive for coronavirus is required by law to self-isolate for 14 days, to protect others from catching the virus. Practical help is available to support people through this two week period, from collecting shopping and prescriptions to claiming financial support for the most needs.

  • Volunteers are ready to help with shopping and prescriptions so you don’t need to leave home.
  • There are voluntary organisations across the city that offer food parcels for those in hardship to supplement their weekly groceries
  • For those on the lowest incomes the government is providing a £500 grant, beginning in October

Local support

Through lockdown the City Council established a network of local response staff who helped residents with the emergency needs from isolating and financial hardship that resulted. The knowledge and relationships these teams have built up are now there to support people who are struggling due to self-isolation.

As well as the Council’s services a number of community organisations have developed support for their local community. Oxford Hub has partnered with the council on the Oxford Together programme which provides local volunteers who can help pick up shopping and prescriptions; food banks and community larders are now reopening to help those in hardship, and arrangements can be made for those self-isolating.

These services and other support for hardship can be accessed by calling the City Council on 01865 249 811 or visiting our Community Assistance page.

In October the government’s financial support for low income households that cannot work from home comes into effect. Details on eligibility and how to claim will be published shortly.

Rules on self-isolation

Previously it has been a guideline to self-isolate for 14 days, to protect the rest of the community. As case numbers rise it has now become a legal requirement, with fines of £1000 issued by the police for those who breach the rules. Employers who pressure staff not to self-isolate will also be liable for the fines, which can increase to £10,000 for repeated or the most serious breaches.

“It’s vital that people self-isolate if they test positive or have symptoms, that is the most effective way to stop the spread. There is support to make this easier, from the government’s financial support to Oxford volunteers for shopping and practical help.

“Although friends and family are often the best sources of support, there are times when they aren’t able to give the help that’s needed. Our customer services team and our locality hubs can help you access support, whether that’s directly from the Council or finding other services that can help. Please get in touch if you need support.”

Councillor Louise Upton, Cabinet Member for Safer, Healthier Oxford

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