Rules relaxed for care resident out-of-home visits
Care residents are today able to participate in more out-of-home visits without having to isolate on their return under new government guidance.
From 4 May, residents are able to leave their care homes to visit a friend or family member’s garden, or go on walks in places such as parks, public gardens and beaches without having to self-isolate.
Residents must be accompanied by either a care worker or nominated visitor and follow the government guidelines of washing hands regularly, keeping social distance and remaining outside, in line with step two of the lockdown easing roadmap.
Visits out of the care home should take place solely outdoors, except for the use of toilet facilities, with no visits to indoor spaces (public or private) and avoiding the use of public transport where possible.
An exemption will be in place for those who wish to vote in person in the upcoming local elections, as long as they follow national coronavirus restrictions and measures in place at polling stations
It is understood a resident can outside at a restaurant or cafe with their care worker or nominated visitor if they agree this with the care home in advance.
Residents leaving for medical appointments and for overnight visits will still be required to self-isolate for 14 days.
The changes come as the data shows cases continuing to fall meaning it is now much safer for care home residents, who are among the most vulnerable to Covid-19, to leave their homes.
“I know residents and their families have found the restrictions on trips out of care homes incredibly difficult. This is one more step towards getting back to normal, while protecting care homes from the continued risk of Covid-19,” said care minister Helen Whately (pictured).
“As part of this interim update before the next stage of the roadmap, care home residents will be able to leave to spend time outdoors. I know this has been long awaited for those who haven’t had a chance to enjoy trips out. I look forward to encouraging more visiting and trips out in future as we turn the tide on this cruel virus,” she added.