What are the new rules for care homes from May 17?
11 May 2021, 13:20
Latest news and government guidance for care home visits: what are the new rules on visiting elderly relatives?
Boris Johnson has confirmed that England will go into its third stage of lockdown-easing on May 17, and updated the public on the rules on visiting care homes.
At present, the rules allow just two named people to visit a relative living at a care home - but this number looks set to increase on May 17.
Here's everything you need to know.
What are the rules on care home visits in stage three of lockdown-easing?
Boris Johnson confirmed that the number of named visitors able to visit care homes will rise from two to five. The rules add that a maximum of 2 visitors will be allowed at any one time or on any given day.
In addition, the new rules state:
- Self-isolation no longer required following visits to GPs, dentists and day centres
- Visits will only pause for a minimum of 14 days rather than 28 days following an outbreak
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."
Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care, Professor Deborah Sturdy added: "The pandemic has been so difficult for those living in care homes and our social care workforce have done a brilliant job of keeping their residents safe and supported. I know this change to the guidance will be a huge boost to so many, giving more people the chance to reunite with more of their friends and family."