From Monday 10 August care home residents in Scotland will be able to have up to three outdoor visitors, Health Secretary Jeane Freeman has announced.
This is the next stage of family visiting in care homes in Scotland, expanding on the previous rule of one designated outdoor visitor announced on 3 July.
The three visitors must be from a maximum of two households and care homes are required to meet strict criteria and have infection control measures in place.
A care home will only be able to permit visiting if they have been COVID-free throughout the pandemic or if all affected residents have fully recovered, All residents and staff must have been symptom free for 28 days and the home must be actively participating in weekly staff testing.
Visitors will be required to wear face coverings and physical distance throughout their visit, as well as follow all hand and cough hygiene measures.
Care home providers can also now begin to develop and submit plans for allowing one designated indoor visitor for residents in their home. The plans must meet strict criteria including ensuring adequate staffing and PPE and making sure staff are fully engaged in the weekly testing programme.
These plans must be submitted by Monday 24 August and will be signed off by the relevant health board’s Director of Public Health if they meet the criteria.
The Scottish Government has issued a letter to every adult care home in Scotland with further details which can be found here.
Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said: “It is important that we continue to monitor this situation and that all changes within care homes happen incrementally and with real caution to protect residents and staff”.
She adds: “At this point in time clinical advice is not to restart indoor care home visiting until the necessary plans are in place and signed off by the Director of Public Health. This is being continually monitored and I hope we can give a further update on this in the coming weeks”.
There are also discussions on the necessary steps needed to restart communal activities in care homes as well as reintroduce external outings for residents.
All essential visits, including those involving end of life care, and visits for residents who are experiencing distress can continue.