Relatives of care home residents will be able to hug their loved ones before Christmas
The Government have pledged that relatives of care home residents across England will be able to hug their loved ones before Christmas providing they test negative for Covid-19.
The Government has committed to providing twice-weekly Covid-19 testing for up to two visitors per resident by Christmas, with care home staff also set to receive twice-weekly tests.
The testing of residents will be stepped up to once a week – meaning that members of the public will be able to see their relatives and hug them before Christmas.
Those wanting to visit relatives in care homes will have to return a negative test and wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) throughout the duration of their visit.
The winter plan, which was announced on Monday, November 23 by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, sets out the commitment to care home residents and their families.
The plan reads: “The Government is committed, by Christmas, to providing twice weekly testing to enable all care home residents to have regular visits from up to two visitors.
“If a visitor has a negative test, is wearing appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and follows other infection control measures, then it will be possible for visitors to have physical contact with their loved one, such as providing personal care, holding hands and hugging.”
Fiona Carragher, the director of research and influencing at the Alzheimer’s Society has welcomed the news, saying that the past eight months have been “devastating”.
She commented: “After eight harrowing months filled with devastation and tragic loss of life, we’re relieved that the Prime Minister has recognised the importance of family carers allowing up to two visitors per resident, tested twice a week.
The Government also said it will introduce legislation requiring care home providers to restrict “all but essential” movement of staff between settings with the aim of reducing transmission.
The Government have confirmed that detailed guidance relating to care home visits will be published shortly – with the aim of achieving the goal before Christmas.