After a year of no or very limited contact the Prime Minister has agreed that from the 8 of March, people in care homes will be allowed one regular visitor indoors.
Now that virtually all care home residents have had vaccines the Prime Minister is looking at ways to reopen care homes for visitors. At first the scheme will be one visitor, indoors, with PPE and avoiding close contact where possible but should it run well further restrictions will be lifted.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock 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.
Care homes with other measures in place like outdoor pods and screen visiting can continue on as normal, allowing wider family to continue to visit but obviously with less of a personal touch.
Fingers crossed this goes well as visits can be vital not only in the mental wellbeing of residents but for some the physical well being too. If you have a loved one in a care home, start making enquiries now as they are no doubt soon to be inundated with questions!
The Government will be publishing further guidance on this issue next week.