The Cabinet Secretary for Health & Sport has announced the phased reintroduction of family visiting and communal activities for care home residents today (25 June).
Care homes with no Covid-19 cases or which have been Covid-19 free for 28 days will be able to allow outdoor visiting from 3 July. This phase of visiting will include a single nominated visitor, who will be required to wear a face-covering for the duration of the visit. Physical distancing, hygiene and other appropriate safety measures should also be in place.
The approach to reintroducing care home visits will be done incrementally to protect residents and staff. Further visiting options will only open when scientific and clinical advice indicates that it is safe to do so. The fourth and final phase will see controlled indoor visits and wider use of communal areas by residents.
Scottish Care welcomes today’s announcement. This is an incredibly important piece of news for residents and their families. Lockdown has been difficult for everyone, but especially for our care home residents and those with dementia who have been isolated from their loved ones.
Scottish Care advised care homes members to restrict visiting on 11 March. Some care homes have been in lockdown for more than 3 months. This wasn’t an easy decision but was one that was required as a response to the threat of Covid-19. But as lockdown continued, we recognised this was impacting on both the psychological and physiological health of our care home residents. Residents were becoming more and more isolated and reopening care homes will allow our residents to re-establish connection and belonging.
Alongside families and loved ones, Scottish Care has been calling for the reinstatement of safe care home visiting as a resident wellbeing priority for some time and we are extremely pleased that the Scottish Government has now enabled the first step in this process.