Rotherham Council has announced that it will offer £250 to people in the area that have to self-isolate due to Coronavirus.
The Council has set aside £100k for the scheme, which will allow 400 people to claim, although there is the possibility that the Council will expand it.
The Council hopes that it will incentivise people to self-isolate even if they may face some form of financial hardship.
Although the scheme runs alongside the Government’s national Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme, Rotherham’s support will only be available to people who are not eligible for the Government’s scheme.
Under the local scheme, a payment of £250 will be made if applicants meet the following criteria:
- Have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.
- Started a period of self-isolation on or after the 25th January 2021.
- Have not been able to access the Government’s self-isolation support payments or discretionary payments.
- Are employed or self-employed; and
- Are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.
Leader of Rotherham Council, Councillor Chris Read, said:
“If we are going to slow down transmission of the virus it is absolutely vital that people self-isolate if they are instructed to do so – but we are acutely aware that is easier said than done for some people, who face the horrible Hobson’s choice of not being able to pay the bills and look after their family, or risk infecting work colleagues, friends, family and the wider community.
“We were seeing too many instances of people in genuine need being turned down for the national scheme because they did not meet the Government’s strict criteria. By broadening the criteria for the local payments, it will mean people will be able to afford to do the right thing – and there can be no excuses for those that don’t.
“The rollout of the vaccination across Rotherham is on-track and most welcome, but if we’re going to protect the NHS and save lives, we must continue with measures to reduce the spread of the virus. These payments, alongside other work to help businesses implement COVID secure workplaces and increasing local test and trace activity are part of our Contain strategy and will go a long way towards helping us to do that.”