This guidance applies from 12 April 2021 and replaces previous guidance on care home visiting. It applies to care homes for working age and for older adults.
Visiting is a central part of care home life. It is crucially important for maintaining the health, wellbeing and quality of life of residents. Visiting is also vital for family and friends to maintain contact and life-long relationships with their loved ones and contribute to their support and care.
This guidance sets out the government’s advice to support safe visiting:
- every care home resident can nominate up to 2 named visitors who will be able to enter the care home for regular visits (and will be able to visit together or separately as preferred). These visitors should be tested using rapid lateral flow tests before every visit, must wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and follow all other infection control measures (which the care home will guide them on) during visits. Visitors and residents are advised to keep physical contact to a minimum. Visitors and residents may wish to hold hands, but should bear in mind that any physical contact increases the risk of transmission. For this reason there should not be close physical contact such as hugging
- in addition to their 2 named visitors, residents with higher care needs can also choose to nominate an essential care giver
- care homes can also continue to offer visits to other friends or family members through arrangements such as outdoor visiting, rooms with substantial screens, visiting pods, or from behind windows