For people living in care homes, regular visits from family and friends are important for maintaining close relationships and supporting health and wellbeing.
Under step 4 of the government's roadmap out of lockdown, every care home resident can have named visitors who are able to enter the care home for regular visits. There is no limit on the number of named visitors that a single resident can have and no nationally set limit on the number who can visit in a single day.
Also, From Tuesday 4 May, residents have been able to leave their care homes to visit a friend or family member’s garden, or go on walks in places such as parks and public gardens and beaches. They do not have to self-isolate when they return. Full details are available in the government’s visits out of care homes: supplementary guidance.
Please be mindful of care home residents when visiting care homes and their potential increased vulnerability to COVID-19, even if vaccinated. Take proper precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep yourself, your loved ones and care home residents and staff safe.
Further changes from 19 July 2021
Under step 4 of the roadmap, from 19 July 2021:
- every care home resident can have ‘named visitors’ who will be able to enter the care home for regular visits. There is no limit on the number of ‘named visitors’ that a single resident can have and no nationally set limit on the number who can visit in a single day
- every care home resident can choose to nominate an essential care giver who may visit the home to attend to essential care needs. The essential care giver should be enabled to visit in all circumstances, including if the care home is in outbreak (but not if the essential care giver or resident are COVID-positive)
- named visitors and residents are advised to keep physical contact to a minimum (excluding essential care givers). Physical contact like handholding is acceptable if hand washing protocols are followed. Close personal contact such as hugging presents higher risks but will be safer if it is between people who are double vaccinated, without face-to-face contact, and there is brief contact only
- care homes can also continue to offer visits to friends or family members through arrangements such as outdoor visiting, rooms with substantial screens, visiting pods, or from behind windows.
This guidance is dependent on COVID-19 rates remaining low. If a care home is situated in a local community with high or rapidly rising levels of infection, and/or where there is evidence of variants of concern, this will be reviewed.
Read a summary of the government guidance for visiting care homes from 19 July 2021
Visitors aged 11 years and over should take a symptom-free rapid COVID-19 test every time they visit. It is advised that children between the ages of 2 and 11 are also tested. Read more on how to test your child or watch this video on how to test your child.
Walsall Council encourages and supports care homes in Walsall to provide safe visiting opportunities.
For further information, please read the full government guidance on care home visiting.