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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.
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:
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."