From 2 December 2020 visitors to care homes will once again be able to visit residents within care homes if they receive a negative COVID-19 test conducted on site at the care home and which can provide results within 30 minutes of the tests being conducted. This measure will provide some reassurance to both visitors and residents in respect of the risk of Covid-19 being brought into the care home.
Government guidance confirms that tests will be provided to care homes in order to enable residents to be able to receive 2 visitors up to twice a week. The aim that all care homes in England will have sufficient tests to increased visitors in time for Christmas 2020. Some commentators have challenged the accuracy of these tests but it is clear that they are to be used not in isolation but in addition to existing infection control practices within care settings.
There are interim measures in place to allow indoor visiting without testing in Tier 1 locations in the country where the tests have not yet been distributed but this is limited to those visitors who have also come from a Tier 1 location and this will be of little solace to the country as a whole given that Tier 1 represents only 1% of England’s population.
Please see a copy of the visiting care homes during Covid-19 guidance here.