Care home residents are be allowed one visitor as part of lockdown easing measures to be announced by the government.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will today confirm that every care home resident will be allowed one regular indoor visitor from 8 March.
Health and Social Care Secretary, Matt Hancock, (pictured) said: “I know how important visiting a loved one is and I’m pleased we will soon be in a position for people to be carefully and safely reunited with loved ones who live in care homes.
“This is just the first step to getting back to where we want to be. We need to make sure we keep the infection rate down, to allow greater visiting in a step by step way in the future.”
Under the scheme, which is designed to be the next cautious step in bringing families back together, residents will be allowed to hold hands with a single named individual, with tests required before entry and PPE to be worn on site.
Outdoor, pod and screen visits will continue in line with the published guidance which has been in place during lockdown, meaning there will be chances for residents to see more than just the one person they nominate.
All visitors will receive a lateral flow test and be required to follow all infection prevention and control measures.
Close contact care will be restricted to visitors who provide assistance – such as help dressing, eating or washing with existing guidance already enabling these visits under exceptional circumstances.
Minister for Care Helen Whately said: “One of the hardest things during this pandemic has been seeing families desperate to be reunited with their loved ones kept apart and I absolutely want to bring them back together.
“Throughout this pandemic we have sought clinical guidance on how visits can be conducted safely.
“We had to restrict the majority of visiting when the new variant was discovered but we have done all we can to enable visits to continue in some form. That includes providing funding towards costs of screens and PPE.
“As we begin to open up we will move step by step to increase visits while remembering we are still in the grip of a global pandemic.”