UK to ease restrictions for care home residents from May 17
CARE HOME residents in UK will be able to have more named visitors and more opportunities to make visits out with no need to self-isolate when they return from 17 May.
The number of named family members or friends able to visit their loved ones in care homes will be increased from two to five, as part of step 3 of the roadmap. A maximum of two visitors will be allowed at any one time or on any given day, a statement said.
Besides, residents can go to medical appointments, a workplace, educational setting, and day centres without having to self-isolate on their return.
“Thanks to the phenomenal success of the vaccine rollout and a reduction in cases across the country, I am pleased we can now take another step towards getting back to normal, while protecting those in care homes from the continued risk of Covid-19,” said minister for care Helen Whately.
“The new guidance allows more family and friends to reunite and reduces the need to self-isolate, which I know many have found incredibly challenging. As we turn the tide on this cruel virus I want to make visiting as normal as possible by the summer, and this is an important step on that path.”
The period when a Covid-19 outbreak in a care home can be declared over will also change from 28 days to 14 days after the last positive case assuming there are no Variants of Concern (VOCs) identified.
As a result, visits can resume sooner following an outbreak, once the relevant testing has been completed and provided all staff and residents tested receive a negative result.
Chief nurse for adult social care, Professor Deborah Sturdy has said that the change to the guidance will be a huge boost to so many, giving more people the chance to reunite with more of their friends and family.
Last week, the government announced an interim change in guidance to allow low-risk outdoor visits out, such as a trip to the park, a garden or the beach, without the need to isolate afterwards.
Chair of the adult social care Covid-19 taskforce, Sir David Pearson said: “This is a significant step on the road to normality for so many. We are only able to increase visits in and out of care homes thanks to the hard work of social care staff maintaining good infection prevention and control, and the effect of the vaccines in driving down transmission.”