Care homes in the UK will see COVID-19 infection control restrictions eased from May 17.
From May 17, UK care homes will see infection control restrictions relaxed, which will now allow residents to five named visitors, increased from the current two, and a maximum of two visitors will be allowed at any one time or on any given day. As well as this, residents will no longer need to self-isolate following external visits to GPs, dentists, and day centres, for example.
Also, following any care home COVID-19 outbreak, visiting will only be suspended for 14 rather than 28 days.
Successful vaccine rollout
This easing of restrictions follows on from the successful vaccination rollout, which has seen 95% of older care home residents receiving their first COVID-19 vaccine.
Minister for Care, Helen Whately, said: “The measures we have taken during this pandemic have always been to protect our most vulnerable, but I have heard first-hand from those living and working in care homes how difficult the restrictions have been.
“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.
“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.”
Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care, Professor Deborah Sturdy, said: “The pandemic has been so difficult for those living in care homes and our social care workforce have done a brilliant job of keeping their residents safe and supported. I know this 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.”