Low risk trips, such as to gardens and parks, are now allowed for care home residents in England without being required to isolate for 14 days on their return following the release of new guidance this week. The residents will need to be accompanied on such trips by either a member of staff or their nominated visitors.
This has been partly due to a fall in Covid cases, the successful rollout of the vaccination program and the general public adhering to the ‘hands, face, space’ advice which is great news for care home residents who have been isolated during the pandemic. This should help improve morale and overall wellbeing for everyone who has been struggling over the past 12 months, especially as we move into the summer months.
Two regular visitors were also allowed into care homes from April allowing loved ones to visit the residents indoors, by taking Lateral Flow tests and wearing PPE. Ruthie Henshall has recently appeared on BBC Breakfast talking about the change in her Mother, who is in a care home, in only two weeks since she has been able to visit and help care for her.
The importance of visitors in care homes was described by Jenny Morrison, co-founder of Rights for Residents, who stated in a BBC interview “family members need to be seen not as just visitors but as essential components of peoples care”. Hopefully the recognition of allowing access to visitors will continue as cases reduce further.