Care home residents allowed outdoor visits without self isolating

From 4 May, residents will be able to leave their care homes to visit a friend or family member’s garden. They will not have to self-isolate when they return.
An older man wearing a hat standing out doors and smiling at the camera

The guidance 

Residents must be accompanied by either one of their nominated visitors or a care worker.  As part of the roadmap out of lockdown, guidance was updated on 4 May for care homes to increase visiting, and allow 5 nominated visitors per resident. Residents can have no more than 2 visitors at a time or over the course of one day.

Visits out of the care home should take place solely outdoors, except for the use of toilet facilities, with no visits to indoor spaces (public or private) and avoiding the use of public transport where possible.  Everyone must still follow all the government guidelines including hands, face space.

The changes are possible because the data shows cases continuing to fall, meaning it is now much safer for care home residents, who are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19, to leave their homes. Keeping visits outdoors will ensure any risk is minimised as much as possible.

The pandemic has been so incredibly challenging for those living in care homes, and our social care workforce have done a heroic job of keeping their residents safe and supported. I know this change to the guidance will be hugely welcomed by many and give so many the chance to safely leave their home.
— Chief Nurse for Adult Social Care, Professor Deborah Sturdy

What next?

Arrangements in areas with high, or rapidly rising, levels of infection in the local community, and/or variants of concern, will need additional local advice from directors of public health. 

Residents who have tested positive, or who have COVID-19 symptoms, must self-isolate and would therefore not be able to leave the care home. In the event of an outbreak, all residents must self-isolate, and visits out will be suspended to prevent the spread of the virus.