Last reviewed 6 April 2021

Care home residents in England will be able to receive two visitors indoors from 12 April, with tests needed before entry and personal protective equipment (PPE) provided, as national Covid-19 restrictions continue to be cautiously eased.

The Government said, as long as infection prevention and control (IPC) measures remain in place, the increase in visiting planned in the Government’s roadmap will be able to go ahead. 

Regular visits are being extended from one to two people under conditions that are designed to prevent the transmission of the Covid-19 virus.

Babies and toddlers will be able to accompany visitors, and will not count as one of the visitors, allowing grandparents to see grandchildren. Visitors will be able to hold hands.

This move has been facilitated by the drop in community infection rates and the successful rollout of vaccinations in care homes. Almost 94% of eligible older people’s care home residents have received their first dose of vaccine as have almost 78% of care home staff.

Care Minister Helen Whately said: “I’m pleased we were able to introduce more meaningful visits to care homes in March. Seeing friends and family reunited has been incredibly moving.”

She added: “We want to go further, so we’re allowing more visitors at this next stage of the roadmap, and our aim is to make visiting care homes as normal as possible by the summer. We know how cruel this virus can be in care homes so we must continue to follow the science and data, but things are looking up.”

Arrangements for essential care givers for residents who require the greatest support will continue.

Further opportunities for relatives and contacts to have outdoor, pod and screen visits will continue in line with the published guidance which has been in place during lockdown.

All care home providers not experiencing an outbreak will be asked to follow the updated guidance and continue to work together with families, and local professionals, to ensure visits are possible, while continuing to limit the risk of transmission.

Guidance to cover the new visiting arrangements and visits out of care homes will be published in a few days.