This guidance sets out how care home visiting may be re-introduced while minimising the risks to residents, staff and visitors.
It takes a staged approach, where the stage 1 rule – essential visits only – has been in operation throughout the pandemic.
It sets out how relaxation of visiting restrictions will take place in three further stages, moving through outdoor visiting, indoor visiting by one designated person and eventually to a controlled programme of outdoor and indoor visiting.
It sets out what precautions will be taken to safeguard resident, visitor and staff safety.
At a national level, each stage of easing of restrictions will be assessed depending on scientific advice and the progress of the infection rates. If risks are identified with this approach, restrictions may be resumed.
Any home that has an ongoing outbreak will have to close to non-essential visitors.
From Monday 10 August care home residents were be able to have up to 3 outdoor visitors at one time from no more than two households.
We also want to introduce indoor visiting to residents by designated individuals once care homes have developed a plan that must meet certain criteria to allow this to happen as safely as possible.
The guidance has been produced by the Care Homes Clinical and Professional Advisory Group (CPAG), a short life multi-disciplinary group chaired by members of the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Nursing Officer directorates.
The group has been established to provide clinical and professional advice throughout the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Care Homes CPAG will continue to review the guidance taking account of changes in the emerging picture around COVID-19.