Council to extend Test and Trace Support Payment scheme

The Council is stepping in to help Plymouth residents who need financial support while self-isolating.

Earlier this year, the Council were awarded £77,368 by the government to provide £500, one-off grants to people who could not go to work having been told to stay at home by NHS Test and Trace.

The funding received supports 154 applicants, but demand for the scheme has already far outweighed that number, leaving many people who are losing income and experiencing financial hardship as a result of complying with the legal duty to self-isolate when told to by NHS Test and Trace in a very difficult position.

On Friday, the Council passed an emergency executive decision to add further funding to the pot in Plymouth and extend the scheme until at least January 2021, to give low income households who need to self-isolate a lifeline throughout what is already a stressful time.

Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet member for Housing and Cooperative Development, said: “As expected, there has been a huge demand on this fund; a demand that far outstrips the amount we were given.

“Now is not the time to run out of this life line when we are seeing an increase in the infection rate across the city.

“So as a Council, we are stepping up and stepping in to bridge the gap caused by insufficient Government funding for this discretionary scheme, while we press the Government for more funding. This means we will continue to help those doing the right thing and self-isolating.”

If you have been instructed to self-isolate, cannot work from home, lose pay as a result and will experience financial hardship, you might be eligible for help, more information on the scheme can be found at www.plymouth.gov.uk/coronaviruscovid19information