Care homes residents allowed more out-of-home visits.
Residents will be able to leave care homes for low-risk visits without needing to self-isolate on their return.
Published on 1st May 2021.
- Residents will be able to visit their family’s garden or take a walk with a care worker or named visitor
- Guidance updated as the data shows cases falling in the community.
- All care home residents will be able to participate in more out-of-home visits without having to isolate on their return, the government has announced today.
- From Tuesday 4 May, residents will be able to leave their care homes to visit a friend or family member’s garden, or go on walks in places such as parks, public gardens and beaches. They will not have to self-isolate when they return.
- Residents must be accompanied by either a care worker, or nominated visitor, and follow the government guidelines of washing hands regularly, keeping social distance, and remaining outside during the outing.
- The nominated visitor must undertake a LFD test at the care home so their covid status can be established at the time of the outing.
- The changes come as the data shows cases continuing to fall, meaning it is now much safer for care home residents, who are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19, to leave their homes. Keeping visits outdoors will ensure any risk is minimised as much as possible.
- Visits out of the care home should take place solely outdoors, except for the use of toilet facilities, with no visits to indoor spaces (public or private) and avoiding the use of public transport where possible. If a personal care or taxi are used this must be time limited and a face mask should be worn by all persons in the vehicle.
- Arrangements in areas with high, or rapidly rising, levels of infection in the local community, and/or variants of concern, will need additional local advice from directors of public health. Latest statistics show that 95% of residents have received their first dose of the vaccine and 71% have received their second.
- Residents who have tested positive, or who have COVID-19 symptoms, must self-isolate and would therefore not be able to leave the care home. In the event of an outbreak, all residents must self-isolate, and visits out will be suspended to prevent the spread of the virus.
- An exemption will be in place for those who wish to vote in person in the upcoming local elections, as long as they follow national coronavirus restrictions and measures in place at polling stations. While the majority of residents will have made use of postal votes, or a proxy, those who prefer to vote in person can do so on 6 May.