Wales and Scotland have eased coronavirus restrictions in care homes.
In Wales, the Social Care Transition Plan will come into effect between April and June.
This continues to offer free lateral flow tests to frontline care staff and eliminates the need for staff to undertake weekly PCR tests. Visitors and visiting professionals should provide evidence of a negative lateral flow test result within the 24-hour period before the visit. Care homes will be provided with free tests so they can be given to visitors.
Face coverings continue to be a legal requirement in health and care settings for the next three weeks. Visitors should continue to wear masks/face coverings when in public areas of care homes and when moving through the care home, but may otherwise be removed.
The number of ‘essential visitors’ permitted during an outbreak will be increased to two and they may visit either separately or at the same time; the use of PPE will continue to be recommended for all staff working in social care settings but social distancing can be relaxed for social care staff, care home residents and people receiving care at home when there is no evidence of COVID-19 circulating.
In Scotland changes to guidance for adult and older people care homes advises staff to undertake a weekly PCR and a twice-weekly LFD test.
Only residents identified as cases or contacts should isolate in their rooms, irrespective of whether there is an outbreak in the home
Residents in all care homes can now identify up to three named visitors to visit during an outbreak, with one named visitor visiting per day. Exceptionally, two named visitors can visit at one time if support is needed by one of them
Homes can offer visitors transparent face masks, where these are available. Transparent face masks are being made available through PPE hubs.
Visitors should continue to wear face coverings (or face masks where
provided) in communal areas, including when transiting through communal spaces, at all times, and they should maintain 1m physical distancing from other residents and staff at all times.