MHCLG have provided further advice on options for homeless individuals needing to self-isolate, that complements what is detailed in the guidance for commissioners and providers of hostel services for people experiencing homelessness and rough sleeping and night shelters guidance.
Any hostel (or shelter that decides to open) should ensure that they have plans in place to support those who develop symptoms or who test positive for COVID-19, and to manage any outbreaks in their provision. This includes tracing the contacts of any individual who tests positive for COVID-19 or develops symptoms, and considering what self-contained accommodation is available for guests to self-isolate in or ensuring they could ‘cohort’ guests based on their COVID-19 status. These plans should be developed in collaboration with their local authority and Directors of Public Health.
Hostel and shelter providers should remain in contact with their local authorities, keep them well-informed of any concerns around outbreaks and may wish to consult their local housing options team to understand the other self-contained accommodation options available locally.
MHCLG has provided significant additional funding, including an 81% uplift to RSI funding for 2021-22, to enable local authorities to go beyond their statutory duties and to ensure accommodation is available for people sleeping rough. The expectation is that this funding will be deployed wherever it is needed to maximise support for people sleeping rough, but particularly for those that are most at risk in the context of the pandemic. MHCLG will continue monitor the situation through our expert rough sleeping advisers and partners across the sector.