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Care homes, vulnerable and older people

Sunderland City Council endeavours to ensure that information contained on this page is up to date and correct and in line with the latest NHS and Government advice. The council accepts no liability for error or omission.

What has changed

There is no longer a legal requirement for people with coronavirus (COVID-19) infection to self-isolate. However, the public health advice for people with any of the main symptoms of COVID-19, a positive test result or any other signs of respiratory illness is to stay at home and avoid contact with other people. Due to the higher risk nature of health and social care settings, the advice for staff members working in these settings has not changed. COVID-19: managing healthcare staff with symptoms of a respiratory infection - GOV.UK

Visiting care homes 

There are no nationally set restrictions on visiting care homes and there are now no restrictions on the number of visitors allowed to visit. Under the updated guidance, care homes are required to have "COVID-secure" visiting arrangements in place, which will enable families to see each other as safely as possible while also helping to keep staff and other residents as safe as possible.

Most visitors now no longer need to test before visiting a care home. Those who provide personal care are still required to test and tests will be provided by the care home. All visitors are advised to wear appropriate PPE and follow other measures required by the care home to reduce the risk of infection. Wearing a facemask can help stop the spread of Covid-19 and other infections to vulnerable residents.

Visitors should not enter the care home if they are feeling unwell, even if they have tested negative for Covid-19 and are fully vaccinated and have received their booster - there are other transmissible viruses that can be just as dangerous to residents as Covid-19. Covid-19 and other infections like flu and norovirus can be mild for some people. But can cause severe illness in older aged adults.

When care homes are experiencing an outbreak of Covid-19, some temporary restrictions around visiting may be in place to ensure that the spread of disease is appropriately managed and contained. During an outbreak all residents are usually able to have one visitor. Visitors should contact an individual care home to clarify any details regarding visiting arrangements.

End-of-life visiting should always be supported, and testing is not required in any circumstances for an end-of-life visit.

Visiting out of care homes 

There should not normally be any restrictions to visits into or out of the care home.

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