Access to the COVID-19 vaccination and testing: Guidance for Gypsy, Traveller and Liveaboard households

Access to Covid-19 Vaccination

Who can get the COVID-19 vaccine?

The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus.

In England, the vaccine is being offered in some hospitals and pharmacies, at local centres run by GPs and at larger vaccination centres.

You can find out who is eligible for the vaccine here.

The order in which people will be offered the vaccine is based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

How is the COVID-19 vaccine given?

The COVID-19 vaccine is given as an injection into your upper arm.

It's given as 2 doses. You have the 2nd dose 3 to 12 weeks after having the 1st dose.

How can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Eligible individuals should be able to access the vaccine through your local GP, by booking online or by calling 119. You do not need to wait to be contacted by the NHS.

You can find out who is eligible for the vaccine here.

What if I’m not registered with a GP?

 You do not need to be registered with a GP or to have an NHS number to get the vaccine. You should never be denied the vaccine on this basis.

If you are eligible, you should be able to access the vaccine by booking online or by calling 119. If you are not registered with a GP and have any difficulty accessing the vaccine, you can contact our helpline on 01273 234 777.

If you want to register with a GP, you should never be refused registration as a result of no ID or no fixed address. Between now and May 31st 2021, we have a special helpline open to help Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people get registered or update their contact details at a GP. Whether you’re having trouble getting registered, getting an appointment or updating your contact details, we’re here to help. Find out more here.

How can I access both doses of the vaccine when I’m travelling?

 The COVID-19 vaccination is given in 2 doses, up to 12 weeks apart. If you are travelling, services may need to offer additional support to ensure that you can access both doses of the vaccine.

If you know, or think that you will not be in the same area for the second dose of the vaccine -

  • You can contact your local GP, or a local GP surgery and let them know. They can contact health services in a new area that you travel to, to arrange for you to have the 2nd dose.
  • OR, you can contact 119 and ask for advice around the best way to access the 2nd dose of the vaccine.

If you are travelling and have access to a mobile phone or device, you may want to download the NHS Digital App so that you have access to a summary of your health records, and have information on hand on the type of vaccination dose you had and where this was delivered.

If you want to stay in the same area until you have the 2nd dose of the vaccine, and you are living roadside on an unauthorised encampment -

  • Ask your GP or the health professional giving you the vaccine to write you a letter asking for you to be able to stay in the area.
  • If have concerns or experience any problems with this, please contact our helpline on 01273 234 777.

If you want to stay in the same area until you have the 2nd dose of the vaccine, and you are a Liveaboard Boater subject to Continuous Cruising rules -

  • Ask your GP or the health professional giving you the vaccine to write you a letter asking for you to be able to stay in the area.
  • You can contact your local Boat Licence Support Officer or Waterways Organisation and ask them to suspend continuous cruising rules during this period.
  • If you are concerned or experience any problems with this, please contact our helpline on 01273 234 777.

It may be helpful for a GP or healthcare professional to provide a letter to the relevant authority to support Negotiated Stopping or a pause on Continuous Cruising rules. To support this, we have drafted a brief template letter that GP’s and healthcare professionals can use.

If you have any difficulty accessing the second dose of the vaccine whilst travelling please contact our helpline on 01273 234 777.

Access to Covid-19 testing

Anyone with symptoms can get a coronavirus test, whatever their age. You may also be offered a test if you do not have symptoms.

The testing process

 The first step of taking a test for coronavirus usually involves taking a swab of the nose and the back of the throat, which can be done by the person themselves or by someone else.

The different ways you can get tested are covered below.

Test sites

 There are drive-through and walk-through test sites for people with coronavirus symptoms. Test sites are open 7 days a week. If you have symptoms you can book a test at a site near you online or by calling 119.

People who are nomadic may face some difficulties accessing drive-through or walk-through testing -

  • If you are living on a roadside camp, you may be concerned about taking your live-in vehicle to a drive-in testing centre, in case it is difficult to return to land where you’ve been camped.
  • If you live in a large vehicle, you may be concerned that your local drive-through testing site will not be accessible due to height restrictions.
  • If you live on a site in a rural location or on a boat and do not have access to transport, you may have not be able to visit a drive-through or walk-through test site.

If you experience any of these issues, or have any difficulty accessing a test site, please contact our helpline on 01273 234 777.

If you have any difficulty reading any of the Test and Trace information, please contact 119.

Home tests

 Home test kits can be delivered to your home address so you can test yourself and your family without leaving your home. Anyone with symptoms can get a test online or by calling 119.

Watch how to take the test in this video: How to take a coronavirus self-test swab

If you are nomadic, you may not have an address where a home testing kit can be delivered to. If you are unable to access drive-in testing centres, walk-in testing centres and unable to access a home testing kit, please contact our helpline on 01273 234 777.

If you have any difficulty reading any of the information in a home testing kit, please contact 119.

Getting your results

How and when you get your results depends on the type of coronavirus test you’re taking. Follow the instructions that come with your kit carefully to ensure you take the right steps for the kit you’re using.

If you have any problems accessing testing or following these instruction call 119, or contact our helpline on 012373 234 777.

Share this page:

Page last updated: Apr 1, 2021 @ 9:56 am

Sign up to our Newsletter

Scroll to Top