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South Holland picked as new pilot area for self-isolation cash

South Holland is going to get a share of a £2.6 million funding pot to help people self-isolate when they have Covid.

The money, which is being shared with Peterborough and Fenland, will help provide alternative accommodation for people in crowded houses and support to reach people who don't speak English.

This is one of nine areas described by the Government as 'trailblazing pilots' in a bid to combat infection rates.

Matt Hancock. Picture by Pippa Fowles / No 10 Downing Street.
Matt Hancock. Picture by Pippa Fowles / No 10 Downing Street.

South Holland has consistently have Covid rates more than double the national average.

There will be £12 million spent on the nine pilot areas in total.

Other areas are: Newham; Yorkshire and Humber; Lancashire, Blackburn & Darwen, Blackpool; Greater Manchester; Cheshire and Merseyside; Royal Borough of Kingston; Hackney; and Somerset.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “From the very beginning of this global pandemic, the British public have made tremendous sacrifices and played their part whenever they’re asked – social distancing, self-isolating, getting tested and now finally, getting the jab.

“Variants have the potential to be a trojan horse for our hard won progress and it is more vital than ever that we do what we can to show them the exit door, following the rules and self-isolating when asked.

“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.”

The Government says the cash should help people to afford to self isolate - something unions had been calling for a couple of months ago.

Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency, said: “We are doing everything we can to send this virus into retreat and stifle the spread of new variants, and at the heart of this effort is our collaboration with local authorities.

“COVID-19 is a global disease but it requires local solutions as well as national ones, and I am hugely grateful for the efforts of the local authorities that are going to be involved with these pilots.

“Our partnership with local councils has seen us reach more positive cases of the virus than ever before, many of whom were people who could otherwise have unknowingly spread the virus to their loved ones.”

Coun James Jamieson, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said: “These pilot schemes will provide further insight into what works best in supporting those who test positive and their contacts to do the right thing to protect themselves, their families and their wider communities.

“All councils continue to use their unique local knowledge and connections to reach out to areas where they are most needed, working with government in our joint national effort to stop the spread and keep case rates as low as possible as we look towards a return to our normal way of life.”

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