On 22 July 2020, the Department of Health and Social Care published guidance relating to visiting policies in respect of care homes in England.
This guidance sets out a framework for local area policies, that take count of the circumstances of the individual care home (e.g. employee availability, resident demographics and outbreak status), and local circumstances (e.g. presence of outbreaks in the community).
Ultimately, the decision on whether or not to allow visitors, and in what circumstances, is an operational decision and therefore for the provider and managers of each individual setting to make. Nonetheless, before visits can go ahead there should be liaison with the local director of public health.
For a more detailed summary of this guidance, please visit the Mental Capacity Law and Policy website.
In any circumstance where a care home is required to reinforce restriction due to local outbreaks, Providers must do whatever they can to facilitate other types of contact with loved ones such as telephone, Skype, Whatsapp video calling, Zoom or Facetime.