Limits on visitor numbers in care homes removed

The government has confirmed limits on visitor numbers in care homes will be removed.

Limits on the number of visitors allowed in care homes will be scrapped, the government has said.

​Restrictions in place to help prevent the spread of Omicron in adult social care will be eased as Plan B measures are removed, it confirmed on Thursday.

From 31 January, there will be no limit on the number of visitors allowed into care homes and self-isolation periods will be cut. Care homes will only have to follow outbreak management rules for 14 days rather than 28.

By 16 February, care workers will be asked to use lateral flow tests before their shifts, replacing the current system which included the use of weekly asymptomatic PCR tests.

It comes after figures showed 86.5% of all care home residents have now had their booster jab and after Covid islation rules in care homes were eased in Scotland.

Health and social care secretary Sajid Javid says: "I know how vital companionship is to those living in care homes and the positive difference visits make, which is why we continued to allow three named visitors and an essential care giver under Plan B measures. 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."

Changes to testing and isolation requirements for those receiving care include:

  • Self-isolation periods reduced from 14 to 10 days for those who test positive, with further reductions if they test negative on days five and six.
  • Isolation periods for those in care following an emergency hospital visit will be reduced from 14 to a maximum 10 days, in line with the NHS and following the latest advice from SAGE.
  • Removing testing or self-isolation requirements following normal visits out.

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