ROTHERHAM Council has set up a £100,000 pot to give £250 to residents unable to work after being told to self-isolate.
The move, approved by cabinet using a Covid-19 government grant, aims to assist those falling outside the national payment scheme.
It is hoped that the scheme will incentivise people worried about the financial consequences of not being able to work to stay at home.
RMBC leader Cllr Chris Read said: “If we are going to slow down transmission of the virus it is absolutely vital that people self-isolate if they are instructed to do so.
“But we are acutely aware that is easier said than done for some people, who face the horrible Hobson’s choice of not being able to pay the bills and look after their family, or risk infecting work colleagues, friends, family and the wider community.
“We were seeing too many instances of people in genuine need being turned down for the national scheme because they did not meet the Government’s strict criteria.
“By broadening the criteria for the local payments, it will mean people will be able to afford to do the right thing, and there can be no excuses for those that don’t.”
Under the local scheme, a payment of £250 will be made if applicants meet the following criteria:
- Have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because of a positive test or recent close contact with someone testing positive.
- Started a period of self-isolation on or after the January 25, 2021.
- Have not been able to access the Government’s self-isolation support payments or discretionary payments.
- Are employed or self-employed, and
- Are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.
Applications can be made via the council’s website or 01709 897319 and require an NHS Test and Trace ID number.
Vaccinations have started for the over-70s group and Rotherham is on track to have all four priority groups done by mid-February, cabinet heard on Monday (25).
Cllr David Roche, cabinet member for health, said new variants of the virus accounted for 53 per cent of new cases.