Health Minister Robin Swann has reiterated his appeal to anyone with symptoms or has been diagnosed with COVID-19 to self-isolate at home.
If you have been confirmed as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 you are also required to self-isolate, as are those travelling from abroad except for a number of very specific exemptions.
The Minister said: “Those who self-isolate are playing their part in the ongoing fight to drive down community transmission. They will protect themselves, the most vulnerable in society and those working on the front line in our hospitals.
“I appreciate fully that for many people the need to stay at home will involve considerable sacrifice not least in terms of coping with the feelings of loneliness or financial pressures.
“You may find that social distancing and staying at home can be boring, frustrating or lonely and that your mood and feelings are affected.
“You may feel low, worried or have problems sleeping and you might miss being with other people.
“Every effort is being made to address these issues and advice on how to make staying at home more manageable can be found at Coronavirus (COVID-19): self-isolating | nidirect.”
In addition, a range of financial support may be available for short-term living expenses if you have a positive COVID-19 diagnosis or you are in self-isolation.
A non-repayable Discretionary Support Self Isolation Grant may be available to you if you are on a low income and are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of being told to self-isolate.
Details of this scheme and other avenues which can provide support can be found online: Extra financial support | nidirect
This assistance can also apply to those who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) and cannot work from home and who choose not to attend the workplace due to the Chief Medical Officer’s updated advice can apply for support.
Depending on your employment circumstances, you may be eligible to apply for support via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (‘furlough’), Statutory Sick Pay, Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit. CEV self-employed may be eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme. Details are online: www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-workers