Learn about the coronavirus (COVID-19) safeguards when going to see someone in an adult care home.
Care homes have a range of protections against coronavirus including:
These protections mean care home residents and their loved ones can have more regular time together.
Open with Care guidance supports meaningful contact between residents and loved ones. This guidance will be followed in care homes in all but exceptional circumstances.
This guidance is based on the best available advice from a range of experts. Family and friends of care home residents have also contributed to the guidance.
As we learn more about coronavirus, advice may change.
Visiting loved ones in care homes more often, and for longer
Care homes have been working towards increasing people’s time together. Residents’ contact with loved ones should continue to become more normal.
Seeing loved ones at the care home
Please speak to the care home about the level of visiting they are able to support safely. They’re likely to be moving towards daily visits or family groups. The number of visitors will be in line with wider coronavirus restrictions and practical factors in the care home. There's now no need to have a named ‘designated visitor’. This is because residents’ contact should be getting closer to normal.
Visits may take place indoors or outdoors and should be arranged in advance with the care home.
Garden and window visits might continue, depending on each resident’s wishes.
Outings and activities away from the care home
Additional guidance on activities and outings away from the care home is available.
Care homes should support outings and activities that take place away from the home. But there still might be times when these aren’t possible. Reasons might include if there's a growing coronavirus outbreak in the care home.
Residents might wish to meet people outdoors, away from the care home. This could include:
- going for a walk
- meeting in a public place like a park or café
- staying overnight with family
These should generally be supported unless there’s a good reason to be more cautious.
Outings will be a big change for many people, and care homes have to consider any risks to staff and residents. Residents, family and friends who want to plan outings or activities should work together with the care home team in advance.
The Open with Care guidance provides examples of how care homes can enable safe and meaningful visits, while being flexible.
Residents can take car trips out as long as they follow safety guidelines and use infection prevention and control measures.
It’s also possible for residents to visit other people in their homes or have overnight stays away. This could be in the resident’s own home or someone else’s home.
Care home residents are subject to the same coronavirus guidance as everyone else when meeting people away from the care home.
If you’re spending time with a resident outside of a care home, you should follow safety guidelines and the latest government advice.
Even if you’re planning to meet outdoors, anyone experiencing coronavirus symptoms, or symptoms of any other illness, should not meet up with care home residents.
Before visiting, please speak to the care home about whether you should take a coronavirus test in your own home or at the care home.
Changes to visiting arrangements
Visiting arrangements may change at times, depending on conditions in the care home or local area. For example, if there’s an outbreak in the care home visiting might be temporarily paused or reduced to only the nominated visitor residents. The care home will keep you up to date with these changes.
Essential visits should always continue.
Garden and window visits are also likely to always be supported.