Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised that every care home resident will be able to receive two visitors a week by the end of the year.
Addressing the House of Commons on the government’s COVID-19 Winter Plan yesterday, Mr Johnson said the government was beginning to deploy rapid turnaround testing to care homes in England which provided results in 30 minutes so that “people will once again be able to hug and hold hands with loved ones, instead of waving at them through a window”.
The PM added: “By the end of the year, this will allow every care home resident to have two visitors, who can be tested twice a week.”
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock pledged to enable visits in every care home in England by Christmas earlier this month after the launch of a pilot testing scheme.
Around 20 care homes in Hampshire, Cornwall and Devon are taking part in the trial, which gives family members or friends regular tests so that they can safely visit residents.
Responding to the PM’s pledge, Care England chief executive Professor Martin Green, said: “There is a lot of progress and reasons to be positive, however, there are certainly a lot of challenges, some easier than others.
“The news about visiting is positive, but again an array of issues that need to be thought through and we cannot be too hasty with people’s lives at stake.”