Care Homes in Scotland will be able to ease visiting restrictions once they have put in place measures to keep residents, staff and visitors safe.
It will enable visitors to residents to be able to give hugs, hold hands and interact more for longer periods.
Jeane Freeman, Health Secretary in the Scottish Government, said:
“We know how difficult visiting restrictions have been, and it is only natural after six months of lockdown restrictions, that care home residents and their loved ones will want to see and interact with each other as much as possible.
“The Scottish Government has been actively working with Scottish Care and other care home stakeholders on a staged approach to re-introduce visiting in care homes in as safe a way as possible, while COVID-19 remains in Scotland.
“This latest guidance has been developed with input from family members, carers, and clinicians to offer greater flexibility in visiting arrangements, and indoor visiting in particular, as winter approaches.
“We will continue to actively consider how we can best support visiting in care homes, and protect those who are at most risk from this virus.”
Care Homes who can do this will also have to be free of Covid-19 symptoms for 28 days, be taking part in the care home testing programme and have their prevention measures passed by the local public health team.
All the areas in Scotland where new restrictions are in place because of the high incidence of positive covid cases will not be able to participate.
How this is managed will be up to Care Homes to decide once they have met all the criteria because they know their residents’ needs best.
You can find the new updated guidance here: Coronavirus (Covid-19) adult care homes visiting guidance
From Monday 12 October :
- up to 6 outdoor visitors at one time from no more than 2 households
- indoor visiting to residents by designated individuals , once care homes have developed a plan to allow this to happen as safely as possible, and for up to four hours.
- essential visits to be generously supported, without defined time limit, and where they will support the resident’s wellbeing.
- visits by spiritual and faith representatives, hairdressers, pets and therapets, children and young people to be supported
- certain gifts and belongings being allowed into the home, with safety and IPC measures in place.
Reporter: Fiona Grahame