Care homes to close for two weeks at a time per Covid outbreak
New isolation rules now allow care homes in England to reopen just two weeks after a Covid outbreak instead of after a full 28 days.
If two or more cases of Covid appear within a care home now, residents and visitors will only be barred from entering for 14 days.
The change was implemented to help the NHS cope with the pressure of the recent surge in hospitalisations.
Thousands of patients are reportedly stuck in hospitals, despite being fit enough to be discharged, due to a lack of care home beds.
The move will hopefully improve the mental health of both patients and visitors alike.
A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “Throughout the pandemic, we have done everything we can to protect those receiving care with the measures in place based on the latest scientific and expert advice.
“A change has been made to outbreak restrictions reducing the period from 28 to 14 days in line with this advice.”
He added: “We keep these measures under constant review to ensure we continue to protect the lives, health and wellbeing of residents and fully recognise the impact of isolation and the importance of companionship on physical and mental wellbeing.”
Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, added: “As the largest and most diverse representative body for independent providers of adult social care, Care England is glad that the government has listened to us and amended the parameters for classifying a Covid outbreak within a care home.
“The Omicron virus is affecting over a third of care homes, but there are encouraging signs from the data that the impact of this new variant is not as severe as in the previous waves of the pandemic.
“Staffing remains the most critical issue for social care and Care England will continue to push for a very swift response to changing guidance when it is appropriate, and when the data leads us in that direction.”
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