Care home restrictions: Visitor numbers capped to protect elderly from Covid | Politics | News
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the changes will come into force when the country fully reopens, which is expected to be July 19. New guidelines will be issued to advise homes how to allow visits to be carried out as normally but safely as possible. They will have to keep “essential” infection prevention and control measures in place.
But the cap of five named visitors for each resident with a maximum of two on any one day will be lifted.
Care minister Helen Whately said visiting was unlikely to “completely go back to normal”.
She said: “We will be taking some more steps as part of Step 4 of the road map.
“I don’t think visiting will completely go back to normal.
“There will still have to be some precautions.
“It’s step by step, getting things as close to normal as we can, while still protecting people who are at greater risk from Covid.”
Coronavirus ripped through care homes at the start of the pandemic.
Last month the government announced it will make covid vaccinations compulsory for care home staff to save the lives of residents.
Workers will be banned from frontline duties if they refuse to have the jab.
Other workers entering care homes, such as tradespeople, hairdressers and beauticians will also have to follow the rules but friends and family are exempt.
The Express campaigned for families and friends to be given better access to their loved ones in care homes during the pandemic.
Residents were denied visits and many were left to die without seeing their relatives.
West End actress Ruthie Henshall, who was unable to visit her mum Gloria, for six months lead the delegation to Downing Street to deliver a 250,000-name petition demanding change.
Although the rules were eventually eased to allow five visitors, the changes due to come into force later this month will mean residents with large families and friendship groups can finally be reunited.
“We will lift the limit on named visitors to care homes,” Mr Johnson said.