The Department for Health and Social Care has updated its guidance regarding care home visitation, which will apply in England from 19 July onwards.
This new guidance sets out key information, including:
- every care home resident can have ‘named visitors’ who will be able to enter the care home for regular visits. There is no limit on the number of ‘named visitors’ that a single resident can have and no nationally set limit on the number who can visit in a single day
- every care home resident can choose to nominate an essential care giver who may visit the home to attend to essential care needs. The essential care giver should be enabled to visit in all circumstances, including if the care home has an outbreak (but not if the essential care giver or resident are COVID-positive)
- named visitors and residents are advised to keep physical contact to a minimum (excluding essential care givers). Physical contact like handholding is acceptable if hand washing protocols are followed. Close personal contact such as hugging presents higher risks but will be safer if it is between people who are double vaccinated, without face-to-face contact, and there is brief contact only
- care homes can also continue to offer visits to friends or family members through arrangements such as outdoor visiting, rooms with substantial screens, visiting pods, or from behind windows.
The updated guidance can be seen in full, here. You can also read a summary of the guidance for visitors, here.