Care home residents can hold hands with a loved one from today

New care home guidance comes into effect today, allowing people to nominate one friend or family member for indoor visits.

New rules allowing named visitors come into force today in England as the first phase of Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown begins.

Campaigners have repeatedly warned that the strict rules have been devastating for vulnerable care home residents, some of whom will not have been able to hug their loved ones in months.

The visitor will get a rapid Covid test and asked to wear PPE every time, while also following other safety rules.

But strict restrictions on contact are being relaxed to allow people to hold hands.

The guidance says visitors and residents are “advised to keep physical contact to a minimum” but hand holding is allowed.

Neil Higgins, Which?

Close physical contact like hugs are still banned.

Residents with the highest care needs are also be able to nominate someone to provide essential care.

This could be the same person as their named visitor or someone else who will be able to visit more often.

Visits will need to take place in well ventilated rooms, ideally with windows and doors open.

People should also follow social distancing rules when moving around the care home, particularly from other residents and staff.

The named visitor should remain the same person “as far as possible” according to the guidance.

However care homes are being given some leeway if this is not possible.

The guidance says: “We advise care homes and families to take a pragmatic approach, with the aim of minimising change wherever possible.”

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