COVID-19 news updates

The Almshouse Association has been posting regular updates regarding the pandemic to a designated area of our website for the past two years.

We will continue to to monitor developments concerning Covid-19 and will provide further updates when necessary, however the designated area has now be removed from our members homepage. Any future coronavirus news items will be posted to our Latest News and/or Current Issues areas.

In the meantime, the official government guidance can be found by clicking in the links below:

Posted 27 April 22

Covid restrictions end

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that the remaining Coronavirus restrictions will be removed from law starting on February 24th 2022.

Changes include:

  • Legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive covid-19 test will end. 
  • Self-isolation support payments will also end, although confirmed that SSP covid provisions could be claimed for a further month. 
  • Signalled the end of routine contact tracing and Government would no longer ask vaccinated close contacts and under 18s to test daily for 7 days.
  • Legal requirement to self-isolate will end for close contacts not fully vaccinated. 
  • Until 1 April the Government will still advise people testing positive to stay at home, but following this date would encourage those with covid-19 symptoms to exercise personal responsibility. 
  • From 1 April, free symptomatic and asymptomatic testing for the general public will end. However, free symptomatic tests would continue to be available for the most vulnerable and oldest age groups.
  • From 1 April, Government will no longer recommend the use of voluntary covid status certification. 
  • Confirmation that all remaining 20 temporary provisions of the Coronavirus Act would expire. 

The Prime Minister also announced that the Government had accepted JCVI advice for a spring booster to those most vulnerable to covid to protect against potential resurgence. 

These changes only apply to England.

Posted 22 Feb 22

Covid update: 20.01.22

The Prime Minister has announced the withdrawal of Plan B Coronavirus restrictions in England over the next week. 

This means:

  • Working from home: The Government is no longer asking people to work from home, unless they are self-isolating.
    People should now talk to their employers to agree arrangements to return to the office.
  • From 27 January 22: There is no longer a legal requirement to wear a face covering.
    The Government suggests that you continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet.
  • From 27 January 22: Venues and events will no longer be required by law to check visitors’ NHS COVID Pass.
    The NHS COVID Pass can still be used on a voluntary basis.

Government guidance for Wales and Scotland can be found by clicking in the links below:

Posted 20 Jan 2022

Isolation period changes

The Government has announced that from Monday 17th January 2022, anyone with coronavirus can end their isolation after 5 full days as long as they test negative on days 5 and 6. 

Under the new rules, those who test positive can leave isolation after two consecutive negative lateral flow tests taken 24 hours apart. Should you not receive a negative test of day 5 and 6 you can continue to test until you get two consecutive negative tests or until you have isolated for 10 days, whichever occurs first. For example, if you test negative on days 6 and 7 you can leave isolation. More information can be found here.

Posted 17 January 22

Covid-19 update: 30.11.21

With the discovery of a new variant of coronavirus, the Government has re-introduced some measures to prevent further spread within the community.

From Tuesday November 30th it is now a requirement to wear a face mask when entering most indoor public spaces such as shops, banks and post offices, as well as on public transport. Masks are not required in most hospitality settings.  

The Covid booster programme rules are also being amended to open them up to more people. You can find more information on this here: Coronavirus (COVID-19) booster vaccine – NHS (

The Association will continue to monitor the situation for further developments.

Posted 30 November 21

Covid & supported housing

Covid and supported housing: making vaccination a condition of employment in the health and social care sector.

Any almshouse charity that operates a CQC registered care home must have staff that work in that care home vaccinated (unless they have a valid exemption.

The Department of Health and Social Care is currently reviewing these regulations and if they widen the criteria to non CQC registered settings we will of course let our member charities know.

As it stands, in terms of mandatory vaccination for other almshouse charities, this must be based on the Health and Safety risk analysis. Each charity will need to consider the risk to residents and staff.

This article from a leading law firm clearly explains the risks and challenges involved in adopting such a policy:

If any member charity is considering this, we would recommend taking separate legal advice to ensure the charity is protected from challenge. Legal advisors can be found on our panel of consultants*:

* The Almshouse Association makes every effort to ensure that the details of the Panel are accurate and up to date, it is important that members satisfy themselves that the services, qualifications and relevant membership of professional bodies meet their particular needs.

Posted 29 November 21

Covid-19 update: 18.10.21

Prime Minister sets out autumn and winter Covid plan:

The Prime Minister has recently announced the Government’s plan to manage Covid throughout autumn and winter. Over autumn and winter, the Government will aim to sustain the current situation through:

  • Building defences through pharmaceutical interventions – for example, the announcement that the most vulnerable will be offered a “booster shot”
  • Identifying and isolating positive cases to limit transmission
  • Supporting the NHS and social care
  • Advising people on how to protect themselves and others
  • Pursuing an international approach

If the NHS came under series pressure, the Government will implement “Plan B” that would include:

  • Introducing mandatory vaccine only Covid status certification in certain settings.
  • Legally mandating face coverings in certain settings, such as public transport and shops.
  • Communicating clearly and urgently to the public if the risk level increases.
  • Consider asking people to work from home.

Coronavirus is still with us and it is important that we all continue to do what we can to limit the spread of the virus, along with other winter illnesses.

This could include:

  • continuing to wear a face mask and practicing social distancing in crowded areas  
  • testing twice a week with a lateral flow test and self-isolating if you have symptoms
  • regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water
  • get both doses of the coronavirus vaccine (and booster jab for those eligible)

More government guidance can be found here.

Covid-19 update: 13-08-2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for the charity sector

The government has updated its Covid-19 guidance for trustees. This includes advice for trustees on holding meetings remotely or postponing or cancelling meetings to reflect the lifting of restrictions in England and Wales.

As restrictions lift, some members may choose to revert to physical meetings. However, Coronavirus is still impacting on events and so it is still reasonable to make adjustments to suit your needs. Further guidance can be found here.


Coronavirus Restrictions Lifted

Most of the remaining Coronavirus restriction in place will be lifted from August 7th. This includes rules on the number of people who can meet indoors as well as social distancing will end.

Wearing a face mask in shops, health and social care settings and on public transport will still be required.


Covid-19 update: July 21

The Government has confirmed that the country will be proceeding to the final stage of the restriction easing on July 19th 2021.

On 19 July, most legal restrictions will end, removing social distancing and social contact restrictions and enabling remaining businesses to reopen. With cases continuing to rise, however, it is vital that we remain cautious and take necessary precautions to ensure we can limit the spread of the virus. Those who have previously shielded or have been classed as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable should consider what additional precautions should be taken, even if you have received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

Members may now wish to consider how to best manage communal areas if these have remained closed. It is also still recommended that you continue to wear a face mask is crowded areas such as public transport.

Government guidance still encourages us to:

  1. think Hands, Face, Space and Fresh Air 
  2. take part in free, regular, rapid COVID-19 testing
  3. come forward for vaccination when it is offered.

The Almshouse Association would ask members to assess their own circumstances and consider the most appropriate measures on a case-by-case basis.


The Welsh Government has announced that most coronavirus rules will end on August 7th as the country moves to alert level 0.

From July 17th:

  • Up to six people can meet indoors in private homes and holiday accommodation.
  • Organised indoor events can take place for up to 1,000 seat and up t 200 standing.
  • Ice rinks can reopen.

From August 7th:

  • Nightclubs will be able to reopen.
  • Face masks will still be required in most indoor places, expect for pubs, restaurants and schools.
  • Social distancing rules will be removed with venues carrying our individual risk assessments.
  • People who are fully vaccinated will not need to self-isolate if they are a close contact of someone who has tested positive.

Posted 19 July 21

Charity Commission: annual returns guidance update

The Charity Commission has updated its guidance for charities due to submit their annual returns in the coming months, as well as those that are subject to a filing extension as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Commission is still requesting that charities submit their annual returns on time wherever possible. For those charities that are due to submit their annual return between 1 July 2021 and 30 September 2021 and are unable to meet their filing obligations for a Covid-19 related reason, an application can be made for a filing extensions. A fixed three month extension from the date of application will be granted.

For those charities that already have an extension in place, the Charity Commission will contact you shortly. These charities will need to submit their annual returns by 30 September 2021.

To view the Charity Commission’s updated guidance, please visit: This guidance also contains information on holding trustee meetings and AGMs over the coming months.

Posted 5 July 2021