No limits on care home visitors from Monday as social care restrictions eased

Self-isolation periods will be reduced for those who test positive

Holly Bancroft
Thursday 27 January 2022 08:43
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<p>Government praise success of the vaccine programme as they ease visiting restrictions on care homes </p>

Government praise success of the vaccine programme as they ease visiting restrictions on care homes

Limits on the numbers of visitors to care homes will be lifted on Monday as Plan B curbs are rolled back across England.

Self-isolation periods will also be cut for those who test positive for Covid-19 and care homes will only have to follow outbreak management rules for 14 days, not 18.

The move comes as restrictions put in place to tackle the spread of coronavirus are eased across the country due to a high rate of vaccination take-up.

Government data shows that 86.5 percent of care home residents have had their booster jab. The booster vaccine is 92 percent effective at preventing hospitalisation two weeks after it has been administered, data from the UK Health Security Agency shows.

Care workers will also be able to take lateral flow tests before their shifts by Wednesday February 16, replacing the current system of taking weekly PCR tests.

Health and social care secretary Sajid Javid said he was “delighted” that care home restrictions could now be eased. He said: “I know how vital companionship is to those living in care homes and the positive difference visits make.

“Thanks to the progress we have made, I am delighted that care home restrictions can now be eased further allowing residents to see more of their loved ones.”

In December, restrictions were lifted slightly allowing care home residents to have three named people visit them regularly.

Care minister Gillian Keegan said the changes were “backed by scientists” and could be attributed to the success of the vaccine rollout.

Nadra Ahmed, head of the National Care Association, said that the changes would come with some challenges as care homes deal with staff shortages and infection control measures.

She said: “As long as we can do things safely then we should be able to do all of the above with the visiting and I think nothing should compromise the wellbeing of the individuals physically and mentally.”

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