Care homes continue to have a range of coronavirus (COVID-19) safeguards in place. Safeguards ensure that residents and relatives can spend meaningful and regular time together.
Residents’ contact with loved ones should continue to return to the way it was before the pandemic. Every individual home should find the right way to do this for them. Please speak to the care home to find out about their current arrangements.
The Scottish Government’s Open with Care guidance supports meaningful contact. It’s based on the best available advice from a range of experts. Family and friends of care home residents also had the opportunity to contribute.
People living in care homes continue to be more vulnerable to the serious harms of coronavirus. So it’s important that everyone works together to follow the safeguards that remain in place.
As we learn more about coronavirus, advice and guidance will develop further.
Indoor visiting: current coronavirus guidance
Visiting and outings should continue to be supported by care homes. In line with guidance for the general public it’s recommended that a maximum of 3 households meet at one time. This means each resident should meet with a maximum of 2 households inside the care home at any one time.
There should be no limits to how often visits can take place. This will be guided by care home visiting safety arrangements.
The duration of visits should not be limited if safe visiting practices can be maintained.
Anyone who visits an adult care home should take a lateral flow device (LFD) test before every visit. This includes family, friends, children, and visiting professionals. Visitors do not have to take an LFD test in exceptional circumstances. For example end of life or distress. All safeguards must continue to be followed.
All visitors to care homes should wear a Fluid Resistant Surgical mask (FRSM).
If a resident is in self-isolation visits should be supported by a named visitor. For adult care homes with a coronavirus outbreak, a named visitor may be able to visit the resident in their private room if the local health protection team has agreed this can happen. Read the Scottish Government guidance on named visitors during outbreaks
Family and friends should arrange visits with the care homes in advance. This will help manage the number of people visiting at a time.
When you visit a care home you’ll be asked to complete a 'COVID information form’ as well as the usual registration sheet.
You’re also asked to show proof of a recent negative lateral flow test. This can be done at home or, if requested in advance, the home should be able to help you to carry out the test when you arrive.
Read further information about safeguards when visiting an adult care home
Outings and activities away from the care home
Residents might wish to meet people outdoors, and away from the care home.
Activities could include:
- going for a walk
- meeting in a public place like a park or café
- staying overnight with family
Adult care homes who do not have a coronavirus outbreak should continue to support residents to take visits out.
When residents take trips out of the care home the following is advised:
- residents should take an LFD test before leaving the care home and after returning from visits out (this means the day after the initial test) and should test every other day for up to 14 days, unless this would cause harm or distress
- if the resident returns with symptoms, they must self-isolate in line with care home guidance and get a PCR test
- anyone meeting residents outwith the care home should take regular LFD tests, and receive a negative LFD test on the day of the visit
- residents and visitors are recommended to have had their coronavirus vaccinations including booster if eligible
- residents should avoid mixing with a large number of people indoors
- everyone should follow good hand hygiene
- everyone should wear face coverings as applicable
- everyone should keep a distance wherever possible
Even if you’re planning to meet outdoors, you should not meet care home residents if you have coronavirus symptoms, or symptoms of any other illness.
Residents, family and friends who want to plan outings or activities should work together with the care home team in advance.
Residents can take car trips out as long as they follow safety guidelines and use infection prevention and control measures.
It’s 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 should follow 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 protective measures.
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.