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Covid milestone: Children can visit grandparents in care homes for first time this month

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Boris Johnson has announced an extension to rules introduced in early March – which enabled a single person to visit care home residents. In many cases, April will mark the first time grandparents and great-grandparents meet newest family members.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Reuniting family and friends has been a priority each time restrictions have eased, and the next step will be no different.

“I’m particularly pleased to allow residents to have more visitors, including grandchildren, given the isolation and concern felt by so many this past year.

“Thanks to the tireless work of care home staff, and the success of the vaccine rollout, we’re able to increase the number of visits in a safe and controlled way.”

The Government advises that babies and very young children will not be counted as one of the allotted guests, meaning parents will be able to visit residents as a whole family unit.

Under lockdown rules, visitors are asked to provide a negative Covid test result and wear PPE equipment during each visit to protect residents and staff.

The Government has suggested that due to the successful rollout of vaccines in care homes, an increased visiting plan in the roadmap can go ahead on the condition that control measures remain in place and infections are low.

According to the latest Government statistics, almost 94 percent of eligible care home residents have received their first dose of the vaccine.

They added that almost 78 percent of care home staff and essential workers have also received the jab.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson to offer Covid passports but ‘will be time-limited’

Helen Whately, Minister for Care, said: “Increasing care home visiting is a top priority as we ease Covid restrictions. I know just how much these visits mean to residents and their loved ones.

“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. Thank you to all of our amazing care workers for helping to make this possible.”

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.”

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In the coming weeks, visitors will be able to perform tests at home rather than at care homes, reducing risk of infection and managing the flow of visitors.



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