Wales has updated its care home visiting guidance to allow up to two visitors indoors at the same time per resident, and in residents’ own rooms.
The new guidance, effective from Friday 21 May, removes the need for designated and deputy visitors for indoor visits.
The guidance also highlights the importance of people’s rights to privacy during visits, and for there to be flexible visiting times.
The section on ‘Making decisions on visiting’ has been amended to clarify that providers are responsible for ‘how’ rather than ‘whether’ visits take place. This clarifies the regulator’s expectation that risk assessed visits, including indoor visits, will be supported by care providers.
Care Forum Wales has described the relaxations as “challenging” for care homes, which have to risk assess all visits.
CFW chief executive Mary Wimbury said one major stumbling block was the fact that insurance companies were now refusing to provide cover for any COVID-related claims. She said: “Visitors will have to book in and be tested and care home staff are going to have to make sure they understand the rules. It isn’t as straightforward as some people think.”