The Government has announced a new Test and Trace Support scheme for low-income workers forced to self-isolate due to coronavirus.
A one-off £500 payment will be available from 28th September to those workers on lower incomes and in receipt of qualifying benefits, such as working tax credits.
New guidance published by Public Health England says people will be eligible for the support if they meet all of the following criteria:
- You have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
- You are employed or self-employed
- You cannot work from home and will lose income as a result
- You are claiming at least one of the following benefits: universal credit, working tax credit, income-related employment and support allowance, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, income support, pension credit or housing benefit.
The new Test and Trace Support is being introduced alongside strengthening self-isolation rules.
New fines for those breaching self-isolation rules will start at £1,000 with the option of increasing up to £10,000 for repeat offences. Those preventing others from self-isolating, such as employers, will also face the higher fines.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
The Prime Minister said:
“The best way we can fight this virus is by everyone following the rules and self-isolating if they’re at risk of passing on coronavirus. And so nobody underestimates just how important this is, new regulations will mean you are legally obliged to do so if you have the virus or have been asked to do so by NHS Test and Trace.
“People who choose to ignore the rules will face significant fines. We need to do all we can to control the spread of this virus, to prevent the most vulnerable people from becoming infected, and to protect the NHS and save lives.
“And while most people are doing their absolute level best to comply with the rules, I don’t want to see a situation where people don’t feel they are financially able to self-isolate.
“That’s why we’re also introducing a new £500 Test and Trace Support payment for those on low incomes who are required by NHS Test and Trace to remain at home to help stop the spread of the virus.”