Before you visit
People living in care homes are typically more vulnerable to severe consequences and illness as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19) and other infections.
As a friend or relative please:
- do not visit if you have coronavirus symptoms or if you have tested positive for coronavirus or have any other symptom of infectious illness – instead, follow the stay at home advice and avoid meeting others, including care home residents during this time
- you should be fully vaccinated against coronavirus (and other infectious diseases) given many people living in care homes are at risk of more severe illness from infections; however, vaccination is not obligatory for visits
- avoid visiting the care home and meeting up with residents if you live with someone who is following the stay at home advice
- do not bring children to visit at care homes if they're unwell
During your visit
As a relative or friend, you do not need to physically distance from your loved one or wear a face covering or mask while you are visiting.
You should follow any infection prevention and control measures as instructed by care home staff. This may include remaining vigilant for any coronavirus or respiratory symptoms, improving ventilation and performing hand hygiene.
Visiting during a care home outbreak
During a coronavirus or other outbreak in the home, some temporary restrictions may be in place. However, you'll usually be able to:
- spend time with your loved one in their room if you are one of their named visitors
- spend time outdoors in the grounds of the home or organise an outing from the care home with your loved one if they do not have an infectious disease, in line with an individual’s care plan
- embrace your loved one, although you should refrain from close physical contact if they have coronavirus or symptoms of coronavirus or other infection
- communicate through other means such as phone or video calls, letters, emails, cards or photographs; window visits can usually also be arranged, if preferred
If visiting during an outbreak, staff may advise you to follow additional infection prevention and control measures. This may include physical distancing and wearing a face mask and other PPE as instructed.
During outbreaks, visiting arrangements will be reviewed by the local public health team following a risk assessment. This is part of their required duties and it will involve the care home.
This is to enable people to spend time with their loved one to ease situations of distress or upset for the resident or relative or in end of life situations. It's available during coronavirus and other outbreaks. It's not restricted or limited to named visitors. Children can also be essential visitors in end of life situations.