Companionship during COVID-19

Companionship can make a big difference to many people’s lives as we all navigate our new day-to-day. But the coronavirus restrictions can be confusing. Here’s what you need to know right now.

You can still use companiions

If you’re keen to arrange a little help for yourself or a loved one, the good news is you’re still allowed to make use of companiions during lockdown, or life in Tier 1, 2 or 3.* And, if you’re a companion wanting to make money while making a difference, you can still work.

Our companions are still allowed to enter the homes of those they’re offering companionship to. This is because our community of companions are offering a paid companionship service.

We’re really glad this is the case, because now more than ever many of us will be needing some extra company, help with shopping or picking up medication, or a hand with household chores. Trusted companionship also makes it easier for vulnerable people to remain at home and avoid extra risks.

You can get help from your bubble

If you’re in a single-adult household and rely on a family member, friend or neighbour for informal help and companionship as part of a regular arrangement, you may be able to continue with that too if the helper is part of your ‘support bubble’. 

A ‘support bubble’ is an agreement between a single-adult household and another household of any size. Together, you act as if you’re all part of the same household. 

We understand that keeping up regular routines can be tricky right now though. If keeping up an existing arrangement is proving difficult, companiions is here to help. You can book trusted companions quickly and easily on our app. 

If you’re unwell, stay home and self-isolate

Of course, if a companion, organiver or loved one is concerned they may have coronavirus, they should follow NHS advice.

If you’re experiencing coronavirus symptoms, please follow the Government’s stay at home guidance and do not request or carry out any visits until it’s safe to do so. 

Stay safe while making the most of companionship

As always, your safety is what matters most to us, whether you’re an organiser, loved one, or a companion. We’re following the Government’s guidance on delivering home care to reduce the risk of spreading the virus while still bringing communities an important and helpful service. 

We can all do our bit to make sure visits are carried out as safely as possible, by closely following the Government’s guidance. 

So, what’s the government recommending for home care?

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds
  • Always wash your hands when you arrive at a visit, or when you’re visited by a companion
  • Make frequent use of hand sanitizer gel
  • Always wear a face covering 
  • Try to keep a safe distance of two metres when on visits
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Keep any regularly used surfaces and items disinfected
  • When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth with a tissue then put it in the bin (immediately and carefully)
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who’s experiencing respiratory illness symptoms
  • If you’re feeling unwell, stay home and call the 111 Coronavirus helpline 
  • If you need to self-isolate, follow the NHS advice and Government guidelines
  • When travelling to and from visits, follow the latest Government travel advice

In line with Government advice, we’re also asking both companions and clients to follow safe working procedures. That includes using personal protection equipment (PPE) when needed. Masks, aprons, gloves and eye protection may help reduce the risk of transmission. They can also help both companions and clients feel more safe and relaxed in these difficult times. 

Read the Government’s home care guidance in full here

Keep an eye on the latest

As we’ve all experienced, regulations (and our everyday life) can change quickly at the moment. Whether we’re all in lockdown or working to regional tiered regulations, remember to check and follow the latest Government news and guidelines

We’ll be paying close attention to the Government’s guidance as it develops over time and we urge our community to do the same. 

Need a little help?

If you or your loved one could use some help or companionship during these times, our community of trusted and vetted companions is here to help. Simply download the companiions app

Got any questions? Visit our Help & Support page. 

companiions encourages all of our companions to complete this free course from Skills for Health. The resource is approximately 2 hours in duration and includes information such as infection prevention, PPE, hand and respiratory hygiene, management and assessment, sampling and testing, patient transfers/managing patients and much more, to support you in your role.

If you do the course please let us know as we will add a certification badge on your profile to let organisers know you're skilled in taking Covid 19 precautions.

*The information we’ve shared throughout this post was correct at the time of publication (November 2020). Government guidance is constantly updating, so remember to visit frequently for the latest and most accurate regulations and advice.