Care home residents in England will be allowed two regular indoor visitors from mid-April, the Government has announced.
From 12 April, care home residents will be able to be visited by a second visitor and babies and young children will not be counted as in this, which means residents will be able to be visited by a small family bubble.
Currently, people in care homes are only able to have just one face-to-face visitor, but the increase comes as part of the next step of the Government’s easing of lockdown restrictions.
Holding hands allowed but PPE must be worn
The increase in the number visitors residents are allowed is due to the drop in community infection and the current Covid vaccination rollout programme, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.
However, the DHSC said that although visitors would be allowed to hold hands with their loved ones, personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn and a negative rapid lateral flow test will also be required from adult visitors before they are permitted to enter.
‘Reuniting family and friends has been a priority each time restrictions have eased’
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that he was pleased that care home residents will be able to have more visitors, including babies and young children.
Mr Johnson said: “Reuniting family and friends has been a priority each time restrictions have eased, and the next step will be no different.
“I’m particularly pleased to allow residents to have more visitors, including grandchildren, given the isolation and concern felt by so many this past year.
“Thanks to the tireless work of care home staff, and the success of the vaccine rollout, we’re able to increase the number of visits in a safe and controlled way.”
As part of the Government’s next step in easing lockdown restrictions, pubs, restaurants and cafes - with outdoor seating only - and hairdressers and other personal care businesses are set to reopen from 12 April.
Gyms and other indoor leisure facilities are also set to reopen - which will be limited to household groups - alongside outdoor attractions such as zoos and theme parks.
Libraries and community centres will also be able to reopen, and self-contained holiday accommodation, such as cottages, will be allowed for household groups.