Easing restrictions: supporting programmes

12 May 2020

The government’s coronavirus recovery strategy contains details of a number of supporting programmes that the government is already operating or planning to roll out. We’ve summarised those relevant to housing associations below.

It is our top priority to ensure that the key concerns of housing associations and their residents are addressed as lockdown restrictions are lifted, and that housing associations get the support they need to help residents and communities to recover.

You can share your feedback at any point to help shape this work.

NHS and care settings – PPE availability

The government aims to ensure enough PPE is available to protect people working in health and care settings by:

  • Expanding the supply from overseas.
  • Increasing domestic manufacturing capacity.
  • Improving the logistics network from delivering to the front line.

Protecting care homes

  • Testing: By 6 June, every care home for the over 65s will have been offered testing for residents and staff, whether symptomatic or not.

  • Infection prevention and control: The NHS has committed to providing a named contact to help ‘train the trainers’ for every care home that wants it by 15 May, to provide guidance and training on how to prevent the spread of the infection in care homes. The government expects all care homes to restrict all routine and non-essential healthcare visits and reduce staff movement between homes, in order to limit the risk of further infection.

  • Workforce: The government is expanding the social care workforce, through a recruitment campaign, centrally paying for rapid induction training, making Disclosure and Barring Services checks free for those working in social care and developing an online training and job matching platform.

Testing and tracing 

  • The Government has appointed Baroness Harding to lead the COVID-19 Test and Trace Taskforce.
  • This programme will ensure that, when someone develops COVID-19-like symptoms, they can rapidly have a test to find out if they have the virus – and people who they’ve had recent close contact with can be alerted and provided with advice.
  • This will:
    • Identify who is infected more precisely, to reduce the number of people who are self-isolating with symptoms but who are not actually infected, and to ensure those who are infected continue to take stringent self-isolation measures.
    • Ensure those who have been in recent close contact with an infected person receive rapid advice and, if necessary, self-isolate, quickly breaking the transmission chain.

Economic and social support to maintain livelihoods and restore the economy

  • The government’s furlough scheme, extra welfare provisions, charities rescue funding and other extra funding support will between them cost more than £100bn in 2020-21 according to estimates by the Office for Budget Responsibility.
  • In addition to this, support of approximately £330bn (equivalent to 15% of GDP) in the form of guarantees and loans has been made available to businesses.
  • The government’s coronavirus recovery strategy states that they will need to wind down the economic support measures while people are eased back to work and restrictions are lifted, but does not provide further details of what measures will be ceased when.

Who to speak to

Lois Lane, Policy Officer