From Tuesday 4 May all care home residents in England will be able to make out of home visits without having to isolate on their return, the government announced on Saturday.
Residents can visit a friend or family member’s garden, or go on walks in places such as parks, public gardens and beaches without having to quarantine on their return.
Residents must be accompanied by either a care worker or nominated visitor and follow the government guidelines of washing hands regularly, keeping social distance and remaining outside.
Residents who wish to vote in person in the May 6 elections can do so, provided they follow national coronavirus restrictions and measures in place at polling stations. While the majority of residents will have made use of postal votes or a proxy, those who prefer to vote in person can do so on May 6.
National Care Association executive chairman Nadra Ahmed said the move presented challenges in relation to insurance cover and that there would need to be risk assessment and mitigation measures in place.
Care provider body The Independent Care Group (ICG) said the decision was a victory for common sense. However, it added that the announcement of the change just three days before. without guidance, and during a Bank Holiday would be labour intensive for care and nursing homes. ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “Residents and their families will have to show patience and understanding whilst these visits are organised.”
This move follows guidance allowing two visitors per care home resident in England.