Single visitors allowed to hold hands indoors from March 8

Care home residents in England can be visited indoors by a single named individual and hold hands, from Monday 8 March as part of easing lockdown restrictions.

Every resident will have the opportunity to name one individual, who will be required to have a test beforehand, wear PPE during the visit and avoid close contact. This visitor will be able to hold hands indoors with their relative or contact in a care home, and make repeat visits.

Close contact care will be restricted to visitors who provide assistance – such as help dressing, eating or washing – which is essential to the immediate health and wellbeing of a resident. Existing guidance already enables these visits under exceptional circumstances. 

Additional arrangements include the following:

  • There will be discretion for care homes to allow more than one named visitor in exceptional circumstances
  • Home testing of single named visitors will not be allowed during the start of the scheme but will be reviewed
  • Vaccination is not mandatory and will not be a condition of visiting
  • Visiting will be suspended during local outbreaks in individual homes
  • Rules and guidance for visiting outside remain unchanged.

Further guidance will be published before the launch of the single named visitor scheme on 8 March

The government will continue to provide free tests and PPE to support the scheme.  

More care home covid stories here.

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