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 now begin having more regular time together.
Open with Care guidance, published in February, 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 wide range of clinical and professional 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 for longer and more often
Care homes have been working towards increasing people’s time together.
Seeing loved ones indoors at the care home
To begin with, Open with Care guidance recommends that up to 2 designated visitors can visit weekly. One person can visit at a time initially, with a maximum of 2 visits per week per resident.
When care homes assess it’s safe to do so, indoor visiting will increase. This might involve, for example, residents having daily visits with 1 person at a time, or 2 or more designated visitors meeting with residents daily
Multiple loved ones will also be able to visit residents at once. The number of visitors will be in line with wider coronavirus restrictions around meeting indoors and practice factors in the care home.
Seeing loved ones outdoors, including away from the care home
Time together outdoors will increase gradually when it’s safe to do so.
Garden and window visits in and around care homes might continue, depending on each resident’s wishes.
Residents might also 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, or staying overnight with family.
Care home residents are subject to the same coronavirus guidance as everyone else when it comes to meeting people indoors and outdoors, in public places or private homes. These restrictions change depending on local protection levels.
Residents and one designated visitor can take trips out in the car as long as they follow safety guidelines and use infection prevention and control measures.
Seeing loved ones indoors away from the care home
As coronavirus restrictions in general are able to ease, it will become possible for residents to visit other people in their homes. It will be possible to have overnight stays in the resident’s own home or someone else’s home in Level 0-2 areas.
Meeting in other people’s homes for visits, during the day or overnight, is not permitted for anyone under the coronavirus lockdown regulations in Levels 3 and 4.
The frequency and duration of contact should increase gradually. The Open with Care guidance is there to provide examples of how care homes can enable safe and meaningful visits, while being flexible.
Outings and activities away from the care home
Additional guidance on activities and outings away from the care home is now 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 is a coronavirus outbreak in the care home.
Outings will be a big change for many people, and care homes also 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.
If you’re spending time with a resident outside of a care home, you should follow all coronavirus physical distancing and safety guidelines.
- Face coverings
- Avoid crowded places
- Clean hands regularly
- Two metre distance
- Self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms