The Welsh Government scheme which supports people on low-pay with a £500 payment if they have to self-isolate is being extended until March 2022.
The Self-Isolation Support Scheme was opened in November 2020 to breakdown some of the financial barriers faced by people who are told to isolate by the NHS Wales Test Trace Protect (TTP) service because they have symptoms of coronavirus or are a close contact.
It helps support those who cannot work from home as well as parents and carers on low incomes with children who are self-isolating.
The Minister for Finance and Local Government Rebecca Evans has approved an additional £4m, on top of £8m already earmarked in the Local Government Hardship Fund to extend the scheme.
So far, more than 13,200 support payments have been made to people since November 2020.
Minister for Finance and Local Government Rebecca Evans said:
These payments are vital for anyone who has been told to isolate by TTP but may experience financial hardship as a result of having to stay at home and miss work.
The scheme is administered by local authorities and includes a discretionary element to provide support to those who need it most.
As well as the £500 support payment, pilot schemes, including COVID Support Hubs, have been set up to offer even more support to people who would struggle to self-isolate. These have run in the Cwm Taf Morgannwg and Betsi Cadwaladr university health board areas and have helped to provide additional support to people, including food, essential items, mental health support and financial advice.
Minister for Health and Social Services Eluned Morgan said:
It’s so important that people self-isolate if they test positive for COVID-19 because this helps to stop the virus spreading.
TTP has been extremely effective at supporting both people who have tested positive and their contacts and providing advice, guidance and support. It’s important we continue to invest to provide support to those who need it the most.
We have created guidance to ensure local authorities can access funding to provide support tailored to people’s needs, including alternative, temporary accommodation for those who can’t self-isolate safely or effectively.