Last reviewed 8 June 2021

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is to launch nine pilot schemes in England to test new, creative ways to help ensure people stick to self-isolation rules in areas with higher prevalence of infection ― including from new variants.

It will make £13 million available and, in partnership with local authorities, will introduce a range of initiatives including:

  • providing alternative accommodation for people in overcrowded households

  • increasing existing social care support for vulnerable adults

  • providing “buddying” services for people whose mental health has been affected by lockdown and the variant outbreaks

  • language communications support for individuals where English is not their first language.

The areas that will receive funding for these pilots are: Newham; Yorkshire and Humber; Lancashire, Blackburn & Darwen, Blackpool; Greater Manchester; Cheshire and Merseyside; Royal Borough of Kingston; Hackney; Peterborough, Fenland and South Holland; and Somerset.

The pilots are designed to encourage people most at risk of catching and transmitting Covid-19 to come forward for testing and to self-isolate successfully if they test positive.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We recognise just how challenging self-isolation is for many people and these pilots will help us find the best ways to support people and making it easier for everyone to keep doing their bit.”

See GOV.UK for more information.