COVID-19 At current, we would not advise anyone to move to London given the current Covid-19 pandemic. If you are thinking about moving to London, please contact us first to discuss your options and to make a fully informed plan. Please also read the below information which provides an update on travel, housing and the benefits system. Our contact details are: London Irish Centre Advice Service Telephone: 0207 916 2222 Online Chat via our Website- 9.30-1pm and 2-4pm Monday-Friday Email: [email protected] An experienced member of our advice team will respond as soon as they can once your query is received. Travel: Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, both the Irish and UK government advise all non-essential travel to be avoided. Also should you have to travel, you may be expected to self-isolate for 7-14 days depending on where you have travelled from. Please see Gov.uk for travel advice for UK https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus Please see Gov.ie for travel advice relating to Ireland https://www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice/coronavirus/ If you do need to travel, please contact the various agencies you wish to travel with eg; your ferry or flight provider and they will be able to provide the most up-to-date information. Housing: The current Covid-19 crisis has also impacted on the rental market here in London. People have been advised by the UK government not to travel outside their homes unless it is for exercise, essential work or to get essential supplies such as food, medication, etc. A strict social distancing policy has been put in place. This means that there is much less movement of people and finding a place to rent would be quite difficult. It also poses challenges logistically such as collecting keys and signing contracts. Unless absolutely necessary, we would advise people not to move to London at the current time and to hold off if possible until restrictions have been eased. Benefits: Should you find yourself in a position where you have no income and are struggling, please consider applying for Universal Credit. This can be done online and over the phone- however please note that making a claim over the phone can involve a considerable wait. This is due to increased numbers. The link to make a claim is https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit Phone number: 0800 328 5644 Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm Crisis Grants: The London Irish Centre have two grants available- The Benevolent Society of St Patrick Grant which is for people who are Irish or of Irish descent. Irish Youth Foundation Grant- which is for people under 30. Both of these grants are crisis grants and have various criteria which must be satisfied. Please contact the Advice service to find out more information.