What are the new rules for care homes from May 17?

11 May 2021, 13:20

What are the new rules for visiting care homes?
What are the new rules for visiting care homes? Picture: Getty

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.

Read more: Full list of everything you can do from May 17 - including sitting in pubs and going to the cinema

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.

Visit gov.uk for more info on care homes

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.

Care home residents will be allowed five named visitors from May 17
Care home residents will be allowed five named visitors from May 17. Picture: Getty

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."

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