Following changes to the policy on self-isolation, the Welsh Government’s self-isolation support scheme will increase from £500 to £750.
The increase in the payment, will come into effect from the 7th August and will be reviewed by Ministers in three months. The payment is designed 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 tested positive, have symptoms of coronavirus or are a close contact who is not fully vaccinated.
The payment scheme, which has been extended until March 2022, helps support those who cannot work from home as well as parents and carers with children who have tested positive and are self-isolating.
The discretionary element supports people who are not on benefits but who meet the other criteria and are at risk of financial hardship; Since launch the discretionary element has evolved to include those earning up to £500 a week. The increase in payment intends to compensate anyone earning up to the personal income threshold with their loss of earnings over the ten day isolation period.
The Minister for Finance and Local Government, Rebecca Evans said:
More than 14,518 support payments have been made since November 2020 and we are committed to continuing support for those who need it as we move out of the pandemic. These payments are vital and the increase to £750 will provide further reassurance to anyone who has been told to isolate by TTP but may experience financial hardship as a result of having to stay at home.
Local Authorities have risen to the challenge of ensuring that financial payments are made quickly to people who need them. Further advice has been given to local authorities on how they can provide practical help and support to applicants as they apply for the payment.
The Minister for Health and Social services, Eluned Morgan said:
It’s so important that people self-isolate if they test positive for Covid-19 or are a close contact who is not fully vaccinated to stop the spread of the virus and protect family and friends.
Our TTP service is extremely effective at supporting people and providing advice for those who have tested positive for the virus. It’s important we continue to invest to provide support to those who need it the most.
“Vaccines are our best way out of the pandemic. We have a world leading vaccination programme and I encourage anyone who is not vaccinated to take up the vaccine offer.