In this section
Key information, guidance and resources for Care Providers on the COVID-19 vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccination programme
- For the latest information please see COVID-19 vaccination programme
- Operational guidance: COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of deployment in care homes
- Government urges pregnant women to get vaccinated: guidance
- For the latest information on priority groups please see Priority groups for coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination
COVID-19 isolation guidance update
As at 22 December, people infected with COVID-19 can stop self-isolating up to three days early if they test negative twice, it has been announced. They will now be able to end quarantine after seven days instead of 10 by providing negative lateral flow results on day six and day seven.
The new guidance applies to everyone, regardless of vaccination status.
It also applies to anyone currently in isolation, so people who tested positive or first showed symptoms on Friday last week could end their isolation in time for Christmas Day if they meet the conditions.
People should not end their isolation early if they are still experiencing symptoms, officials said. Anyone ending isolation on day seven is advised to limit contact with vulnerable people, not visit crowded or poorly ventilated spaces, and work from home.
People who are not double-jabbed and come in close contact with a positive case must still isolate for a full 10 days.
Get a free PCR test to check if you have coronavirus (COVID-19)
If you have any of these 3 coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, even if mild, use this service to get a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test as soon as possible:
- A high temperature
- A new, continuous cough
- You’ve lost your sense of smell or taste or they’ve changed
- You can order a PCR test kit to be sent to your home or book an appointment at a walk-in or drive-through test site
If you have symptoms, self-isolate straight away until you get your results. Do not leave home, except to post a test kit or for a PCR test appointment. Check if the people you live with need to self-isolate
You should not use this service if you’ve received a positive PCR test result in the last 90 days, unless you get any new COVID-19 symptoms.
COVID-19 vaccination medical exemptions: self-certification deadline extended
Some care staff, who applied for formal medical exemptions from COVID-19 vaccinations, have experienced delays in being notified of the outcome of their applications.
A letter has been sent to the sector confirming an extension to the cut-off date for self-certifications registered before 24 December 2021. This means self-certification forms will remain valid until 31 March 2022, but only if they have been received before 24 December 2021.
Extending the cut-off date allows sufficient time for care staff, whose formal medical exemptions were unsuccessful, to be fully vaccinated before 31 March 2022.
Updated guidance: Temporary medical exemptions for COVID-19 vaccination of people working or deployed in care homes
Updated guidance has been published regarding temporary medical exemptions for COVID-19 vaccination of people working or deployed in care homes.
- A letter from the Director of Adult Social Care Delivery to local authorities, directors of adult social services, care home providers, care home managers and agencies
- Replaced the letter and the self-certification form for people with medical exemptions with updated versions to reflect the extension to the self-certification cut-off date to 31 March 2022.
New Plan B measures come into force to tackle Omicron
From Friday 10 December:
- Face coverings are compulsory in most public indoor venues, such as cinemas, theatres and places of worship
- There will be exemptions in venues where it is not practical to wear one, such as when you are eating, drinking or exercising. For that reason, face masks will not be required in hospitality settings
- Wear a face covering in shops and on public transport
- Face coverings should be worn in communal areas of universities, colleges and schools by staff, visitors and pupils or students in year 7 and above
All contacts of suspected Omicron cases must self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of their vaccination status. They will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
Face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own
In other indoor settings where a face covering is not legally required, you should still continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet.
Some people, including children under 11, are exempt from having to wear face coverings in any setting. Furthermore, anyone with a health condition or disability, which means they cannot wear a face covering, has a reasonable excuse for not wearing a face covering.
Read the full list of places where face coverings are mandatory, exemptions, how to make or recycle face coverings and more.
Vaccinated staff: 24 December deadline for self-certification of medical exemptions
Staff members who believe that they are medically exempt, or who were vaccinated abroad, need to have completed the temporary self-certification in order to be able to continue working in a care home.
After 24 December self-certification of medical exemptions will no longer be considered valid. Staff who have not applied for and received medical exemptions by that date will no longer be able to work in the care home. Only staff who are double vaccinated, medically exempt or who self-certify as having been vaccinated abroad can continue to work in the care home after that date.
Registration is required to apply for the COVID PASS medical exemption. Staff need to contact 119, not their GP to register for a medical exemption. The GP decision on medical exemption is final and there is currently no appeal process. If there are staff who are intending to have the first dose of the vaccine, or are awaiting the second dose after the 11 th November they cannot work in the care home. Managers will need to agree a period of leave or deployment until staff are fully vaccinated (2 doses).
Registered Care Home managers will need to check and record for all staff and visitors attending the Care Home the vaccination or medical exemption status. There is no requirement to record the clinical reason behind the exemption – only record whether a person is medically exempt or not. The exceptions to this are relatives and friends of residents and staff attending for medical or environmental emergencies in the care home.
It is important that managers continue to update the status of staff on the Capacity Tracker.
NHS COVID-19 Pass fraud alert
Criminals are using the NHS COVID Pass as a way to target the public by convincing them to hand over money, financial details and personal information:
- The NHS App is available in England for free
- The NHS COVID Pass is free
- The NHS will never ask for payment or any financial details
- The NHS will never issue fines or penalties relating to your NHS COVID Pass
If you receive what appears to be a scam email please report it to Action Fraud
If you are planning to travel abroad, you can apply for a legitimate NHS COVID passport
Updated guidance for approved COVID-19 vaccines and countries with approved proof of vaccination
New guidance has been issued on approved vaccines and a list of countries and territories with approved COVID-19 proof of vaccination for travel to England. Find out more
Coronavirus (COVID-19): providing home care
Provision of home care guidance has been updated in line with the latest clinical advice from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA). This update brings together guidance for social care staff, registered providers, local authorities and commissioners who support and deliver care to people in their own homes in England.
Meanwhile, recent updates have been made to protect people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable to COVID-19 and restricting workforce movement between care homes and other care settings. See also revisions to the code of practice for the international recruitment of health and social care personnel.
Innova 25 throat and nose rapid testing
New guidance has been published for care home staff: throat and nose test (Innova 25) COVID-19 rapid test kit instructions. Page summary:
- Step-by-step guide for COVID-19 self-testing for adult health and social care staff
- Rapid tests are only for people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19
Updated PPE ordering guidance
Updated guidance has been issued about the PPE portal – how to order free COVID-19 PPE. Page summary:
- Eligible health and social care providers can order PPE through the portal to meet the increased need that has arisen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
- Increased order limits of visors by 50% across all categories
How to get your winter vaccines if you work in Social Care
Download our handy posters telling you where you need to go to get your COVID-19 1st and 2nd jabs, your winter flu and COVID-19 booster jabs.
HSE video on COVID-19 and fresh air ventilation
The HSE has produced a short video on tips for making sure your workplace/care home is well ventilated, to help combat the spread of COVID-19 during the winter months. Watch the video on Youtube.
Operational guidance has been published on the COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of deployment in care homes. Please read more at: Vaccination of people working or deployed in care homes: operational guidance – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). The guidance covers:
- Why to have the vaccine
- The policy
- Demonstrating evidence of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine
- Medical exemptions
- Registered persons entering the home
- Guidance for staff, local authorities, visiting professionals, residents, relatives and friends#opguidance
See the Statement on COVID-19 vaccination of people working/deployed in care homes: the role of the Care Quality Commission from the Care Quality Commission.
COVID-19 action planning and checklist
How to get the vaccine now
If you haven’t booked your first dose yet, you can go online now to book your vaccination appointment at nhs.uk/covid-vaccination or call 119.
Alternatively visit a walk-in or pop up vaccination clinic. Please see the map of walk in and pop up vaccination clinics.
If you have any issues, you can contact email@example.com for help.
It’s vitally important you get your vaccine to keep yourself safe from the virus, to keep your families and colleagues safe, and to ensure those we care for are also protected.
Government urges pregnant women to get vaccinated: guidance
The NHS is encouraging pregnant women to get the COVID-19 vaccine as new data shows that nearly 20 percent of the most critically ill COVID patients are pregnant women who have not been vaccinated.
Since July, one in five COVID patients receiving treatment through a special lung-bypass machine were expectant mums who have not had their first jab. Pregnant women have been treated with a therapy, called Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO), used only when a patient’s lungs are so damaged by COVID that a ventilator cannot maintain oxygen levels.
Out of all women between the ages of 16 and 49 on ECMO in intensive care, pregnant women make up almost a third (32 percent) – up from just 6 per cent at the start of the pandemic, March 2020. Read the full NHS story.
Read the guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for pregnant employees.
NHS COVID Pass
Guidance has been updated in relation to the NHS COVID Pass: see NHS COVID Pass. The page covers: How to get the NHS COVID Pass and demonstrate your coronavirus (COVID-19) status
From 23 September, you will be able to store your NHS COVID Pass in Apple Wallet, even if your device is offline.
How to talk to people who are nervous about the COVID-19 vaccine
Social care workers COVID-19 vaccine FAQs
Guidance and information
Please see below a list of key guidance around the COVID-19 vaccine:
For all care providers:
Announcement on Guidance
PHE publishes COVID-19 vaccine guidance for health and social care workers. Please see the new story.
Delivering an NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme Q&A
Vaccinator training recommendations
Please see the guidance on vaccination training to support healthcare workers involved in delivering the programme.
How are COVID-19 vaccines being developed so quickly?
Vaccine information in community languages
NHS doctors, nurses and other frontline staff have come forward to help reassure communities that COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and have been independently tested to the highest standards.
NHS staff have recorded messages in some of the most commonly spoken languages – apart from English – in the capital to help ensure messages about the importance of getting a COVID-19 vaccine reach all Londoners.
Please visit the NHS COVID-19 vaccine communication materials page for videos and leaflets.
Please also see 210507 Resources in different community languages for material in different languages.
Vaccine webinar with leading experts answers your queries
Minister for COVID-19 Vaccine Deployment, Nadhim Zahawi and two of the country’s leading clinical experts, Professor Jonathan Van Tam (pictured) and Dr Nikita Kanani, have participated in an interactive webinar, giving care colleagues the chance to ask questions about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.
Consent to coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination(Information from Alzheimer’s society United Against Dementia)
Older people and those with dementia are among the early groups to be offered a coronavirus vaccine. Deciding whether to have the vaccine or not is a choice for those who are offered it but some people with dementia will not be able to decide for themselves. For more information please visit Consent to coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination.
The Mental Capacity Act (2005) (MCA) and deprivation of liberty safeguards (DoLS) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: additional guidance
Please see DHSC guidance on offering a vaccine to someone who lacks the relevant mental capacity
Covid-19 frequently asked questions about fertility and pregnancy
COVID-19 vaccine guidance for Care Homes
Below are the forms which will be completed when co-administering COVID boosters and flu vaccinations for care home residents and staff. These act as a safety check on the day but the homes can use their existing consent forms for power of attorney or best interest signed consents for those that lack capacity.
Aashna House – a vaccine success story
Communication, care and trust. Staff at Aashna House Residential Care Home for the Asian community, talk about how they supported all colleagues and residents to receive both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
SWL COVID-19 Vaccine Q&A session for Care Homes with Dr Agnelo Fernandes
Please see the pre-recorded COVID-19 Vaccine webinar in which a Doctor answers questions on the vaccine and a Care Home staff member who survived COVID-19 shares his story.
London care homes COVID-19 vaccine FAQs and information pack
Minister for Social Care’s letter to Care Home Managers and Directors of Adult Social Services
National Mental Capacity Forum Webinar: The MCA and COVID Vaccination in Care Homes
With the imminent roll-out of COVID vaccinations in care homes, the National Mental Capacity Forum has hosted a Rapid Response Webinar to share knowledge and reinforce good practice in consenting patients for the new COVID vaccinations, and to empower clinicians to have meaningful engagement with vaccine recipients. See National Mental Capacity Forum Webinar: The MCA and COVID Vaccination in Care Homes for the recorded webinar.
For relatives of Care Home residents:
Information for relatives of care home residents
On the 4th and 5th January we ran two Q&A sessions for relatives of care home residents to provide the opportunity to ask questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and the roll out in Care Homes. Below is the presentation used and log of questions asked.
For a range of resources please visit the Public Health England’s COVID-19 vaccine resources page. The COVID-19 vaccines toolkit for adult social care has been updated, with new resources on vaccines and fertility, breastfeeding, and the importance of second doses. You can now access the toolkit through Public Health England’s Campaign Resource Centre, the Capacity Tracker, or directly via our Google Drive.
For all Care Providers:
Covid-19 Guide for healthcare workers (leaflet)
All frontline health and social care workers are being offered the COVID-19 vaccine which will help protect you against the COVID-19 disease.
Covid-19 Guide for adults (leaflet)
This leaflet explains about the COVID-19 vaccination, who is eligible and who needs to have the vaccine to protect them from Coronavirus.
What to expect after your COVID-19 Vaccine (leaflet)
Information for people who have had their first COVID-19 vaccination
For Care Homes only:
Consent forms and letters for care home resident
Page last updated on December 22nd, 2021 at 4:43pm