Babies and toddlers will also be able to accompany visitors, allowing grandparents to meet grandchildren
Care home residents in England will be able to receive two visitors indoors from Monday 12 April 2021 as COVID restrictions continue to be cautiously eased. Regular visits are being extended from one to two people under carefully designed conditions to prevent transmission of COVID-19.
Visitors will be asked to provide a negative test result and wear PPE during the visit to keep themselves, staff and residents safe.
Parents will also be able to visit with babies and very young children, who will not count as one of the visitors.
This means grandparents and great-grandparents will be able to meet the newest members of their families for the first time.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“Reuniting family and friends has been a priority each time restrictions have eased, and the next step will be no different.
“I’m particularly pleased to allow residents to have more visitors, including grandchildren, given the isolation and concern felt by so many this past year.
“Thanks to the tireless work of care home staff, and the success of the vaccine rollout, we’re able to increase the number of visits in a safe and controlled way.”
The drop in community infection rates, and the rollout of vaccinations in care homes, means the increase in visiting planned in the roadmap can go ahead, as long as infection prevention and control measures remain in place.
Further opportunities for relatives and contacts to have outdoor, pod and screen visits will continue in line with the published guidance which has been in place during lockdown.
Fiona Carragher, Director of Research and Influencing at Alzheimer’s Society said:
“We’re so pleased two named visitors will be able to have meaningful close contact visits with loved ones in care homes from 12 April.
“Visits are vital to care home residents with dementia, who have been isolated from their loved ones, without the essential care and support their families so often provide, and as a result experienced a devastating increase in their dementia symptoms over the past year.
“We’ve come a long way since the first lockdown, and soon we hope to see the benefits from people with dementia being reunited with their loved ones. As infection rates continue to drop, and more people get vaccinated, we hope care homes will be able to safely open up further.
“It’s essential that an individual’s circumstances are considered, and care homes do what they can to ensure the needs of all residents are met. If you are finding it difficult to visit a care home, please contact Alzheimer’s Society for support.”
All care home providers, not experiencing an outbreak, will be asked to follow the updated guidance and continue to work together with families, and local professionals, to ensure visits are possible, while continuing to limit the risk of transmission of COVID-19.