Twice-weekly testing of care home residents will be introduced before Christmas to enable regular visits by up to two visitors, the government has announced in its COVID-19 winter plan.
Visitors with a negative test result, wearing appropriate PPE, and following other infection control measures will also be able to have physical contact with their loved one, such as providing personal care, holding hands and hugging. Detailed guidance will be published shortly
Care home residents and staff will be first to be vaccinated for COVID-19. There will also be frequent testing as an alternative to self-isolation for people who have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19. Care homes will be among the establishments to trial this policy before the end of the year.
However, the Government has said that itremains committed to restricting movement of care home staff between homes.
Care home residents have been offered monthly testing since July.