Restrictions in place to prevent the spread of Omicron in adult social care will be eased, the Department of Health and Social Care has announced.
From Monday 31 January, there will be no limit on the number of visitors allowed into care homes and self-isolation periods will be cut and now care homes only have to follow outbreak management rules for 14 rather than 28 days.
By Wednesday 16 February, care workers will be asked to use LFD tests before their shifts replacing the current system which included the use of weekly asymptomatic PCR tests.
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‘I know how vital companionship is to those living in care homes and the positive difference visits make, which is why we continued to allow three named visitors and an essential care giver under Plan B measures,’ said Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid.
‘Thanks to the progress we have made, I am delighted that care home restrictions can now be eased further allowing residents to see more of their loved ones.’
Around 86.5% of all care home residents have now had their booster jab, which provides maximum protection against Omicron, with the latest data from the UK Health Security Agency showing it is 92% effective in preventing hospitalisation two weeks after it is administered.
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‘Thanks to the continued success of the vaccine rollout, I am delighted we can ease restrictions in care settings and allow unlimited visits to ensure people living in care homes see all their family and friends,’ said Minister for Care Gillian Keegan.
‘The changes announced today are backed by scientists, ensuring we all have more freedoms from coronavirus, including care home residents and their families.’