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More Care Home Restrictions Eased

From Monday 17th May, care home residents will be able to have more named visitors and more opportunities to make visits out with no need to self-isolate when they return.

As part of step 3 of the roadmap, the number of named family members or friends able to visit their loved ones in care homes will be increased from two to five, as the visiting restrictions continue to ease. A maximum of two visitors will be allowed at any one time or on any given day.

This follows a reduction in COVID-19 cases and the ongoing successful vaccine rollout, with 95% of older care home residents receiving their first jab. 

Residents will also be able to go to medical appointments, a workplace, educational setting and day centres without having to self-isolate on their return. 

Minister for Care Helen Whately said: "The measures we have taken during this pandemic have always been to protect our most vulnerable, but I have heard first-hand from those living and working in care homes how difficult the restrictions have been.

“Thanks to the phenomenal success of the vaccine rollout and a reduction in cases across the country, I am pleased we can now take another step towards getting back to normal, while protecting those in care homes from the continued risk of COVID-19.

“The new guidance allows more family and friends to reunite and reduces the need to self-isolate, which I know many have found incredibly challenging. As we turn the tide on this cruel virus, I want to make visiting as normal as possible by the summer, and this is an important step on that path.”

The period when a COVID-19 outbreak in a care home can be declared over will also change from 28 days to 14 days after the last positive case, assuming there are no Variants of Concern (VOCs) identified.

This means visits can resume sooner following an outbreak, once the relevant testing has been completed and provided all staff and residents tested receive a negative result.

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