New £81,000 scheme could cover costs for residents unable to self-isolate at home

Hackney's Bocking Street Covid vaccine centre.

Hackney's Bocking Street Covid vaccine centre. - Credit: LDR Julia Gregory

Residents struggling to self-isolate because of crowded housing could have their accommodation costs covered in an £81,000 pilot scheme to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.

Hackney Council has block-booked four hotel rooms and four self-contained apartments in a bid to help people who simply cannot self-isolate from others at home.

So far Hackney has seen 27,846 cases and 496 deaths – with more cases in the second wave of the pandemic since last October.

According to the latest data, there were 791 Covid cases in Hackney in the week ending August 3 – down 7 per cent on the previous week.

The council has now been given an £81,000 grant from the Department of Health and Social Care for the pilot project, which runs until August 31.


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The trial has been running in Woodberry Down and has now been extended across Hackney and the City of London.

Since April, Hackney has peaked at 1,490 Covid cases in the week ending July 20. Overall, there have been 27,846 cases in the borough.

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People involved in the pilot will get extra PCR tests, which are used for those with Covid symptoms including a high temperature, new continuous cough or lost sense of smell or taste.

There will also be supplies of personal protection equipment (PPE) and help with access to grants that support people hit hard by the pandemic.

They will also get three hotel meals a day or help getting self-catering deliveries over the ten-day isolation period.

Hackney Council wants to see if this extra support helps cut down on the spread of infection in the borough and elsewhere.

The borough’s health boss Cllr Chris Kennedy said: “We’ve seen around the world how successful it can be to put extra effort into making it easy for people to self-isolate – especially if they live in a busy home or simply don’t have the space to quarantine themselves from their family or housemates.”

People who need the support should  call 020 8356 3111 and select Option 3.

They will need verification of a positive Covid test for themselves or someone in their household.

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