Elderly ‘will be allowed to leave care homes this Christmas’ if family test negative for coronavirus

23 November 2020, 14:50 | Updated: 23 November 2020, 14:55

Elderly relatives could spend time with their families this Christmas
Elderly relatives could spend time with their families this Christmas. Picture: Getty Images

Families may be able to reunite this Christmas as long as everyone has Covid tests.

Elderly relatives will be able to join their family for Christmas this year if they test negative for coronavirus, reports suggest.

Boris Johnson is set to outline his new plan for England coming out of lockdown today (Monday 23), which also covers Christmas.

Read More: Boris Johnson set to announce families can meet this Christmas in 'festive bubbles'

And while it is understood that families will be allowed to ‘bubble’ over the festive period, according to The Sun, this will also include grandparents leaving residential care.

The publication states that the Prime Minister’s ‘festive bubbles’ mean that a single eldely relative can join a household to spend Christmas with them, as long as everyone in the family has had a Covid test.

Those that are able to visit their families or friends, will also have to be tested or isolate when they return to their care home after the festive break.

Read More: The new rules for pubs and restaurants when lockdown ends in England - including a change to the curfew

This comes after Matt Hancock said rapid Covid swabs will be rolled out so families can visit their relatives in care homes if they want to.

The Government is currently piloting rapid testing in 20 care homes in Hampshire, Devon and Cornwall to see if it is safe to let family members visit vulnerable residents.

If effective, this will be expanded across England within weeks, with The Health Secretary adding last week: “I hope to have that in place for all care homes by Christmas.”

Under current rules, many care homes only allow relatives to see their loved ones through plastic screens, or garden visits.

The pilot will assess whether indoor visits still need to be socially distanced, or whether they could eliminate the need for this with fast Covid-19 tests and personal protective equipment.

This would mean visitors would be able to hug and hold hands with their loved ones for the first time in months.

Now Read: Non-essential shops across all three tiers to reopen when lockdown ends