We’ll be adding more information and guidance to this hub whenever we can, so please check back regularly.
Last updated 15 October 2020
The introduction of tighter restrictions across the four nations comes in response to the significant rise in COVID-19 infections. The virus is highly contagious, leading to fatalities in some cases. These restrictions have important implications for psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors seeking to work in-person. Please keep checking this page as well as the links provided.
The UK government has announced a three-tier system of restriction. Every region in England now falls into one of three levels – medium (Tier 1), high (Tier 2) or very high (Tier 3). Local restrictions have also been put in place in parts of Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. This is determined by the local rate of infection and is subject to change at very short notice.
Please check the local interactive map for restrictions in your area and, where relevant, that of your clients, your place of work or educational establishment.
We have examined the Tier restrictions in England as well as in the devolved nations and our advice for practitioners remains as it was on 22 September: that psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors should continue to work from home remotely wherever possible unless they can guarantee their premises are COVID-secure.
Local rules may include restrictions on travel in some areas. At the time of writing, under new regulations being prepared by Welsh Ministers, people living in areas with a high-prevalence of coronavirus in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland would not be able to travel to Wales from Friday, 16 October at 6pm.
In his speech on 22 September 2020, the Prime Minister announced a legal obligation to create a COVID-secure professional environment. While the government guidance does not specifically refer to therapists, we nonetheless interpret the legal obligation as applying to service providers as well as to employers. Any practitioner (therapist, supervisor, trainer/educator) who isn’t able to work in a fully COVID secure environment should work remotely or face potential legal penalties. If you are unclear as to whether your premises meet government requirements, please visit this link.
The latest UK government advice is to work from home wherever possible.
We strongly advise all practitioners to check with your insurance provider.
Employers and employees
If you are an employee of a service, please check your employer’s policies. If you are concerned about working safely during the pandemic, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) has produced a resource for employers and employees outlining your rights and responsibilities.
If you believe that you are under pressure to return to in-person work unsafely, please contact our Policy and Advocacy Team via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other sources of information
We are advising people who are looking for information about the virus to visit the NHS website, where you will find the most up-to-date information, including what to do if you are worried you might have symptoms, advice for travellers and common questions.
You can find more information and resources here: