What care home visitors need to do to ensure the safety of care home residents and staff.
What you need to do when visiting care homes
Visiting your friends and family in care homes is welcomed and encouraged. Visiting arrangements should be as open and flexible as possible. Vaccinations and improved infection prevention and control practices have made visiting much safer.
However, COVID-19 is still in our communities and we need to keep people living and working in care homes as safe as possible. Therefore there are some rules you should be aware of when visiting loved ones in care homes.
To reduce the risk of bringing COVID-19 into care homes do not visit if:
- you have symptoms of COVID-19 or any other infectious disease
- you have been a close contact of a positive case of COVID-19 in the last 10 days
If you have tested positive in the last 10 days, you should comply with the guidance for people with symptoms of a respiratory infection. You should avoid meeting anyone who is at higher risk from COVID-19 for at least 10 days.
Before your visit
Please check if you need to book your visit with the care home. If so, you should confirm the number of visitors, including children.
During your visit
To reduce the risk of spreading COVID -19 it is advisable to:
- wear a face covering when in public areas of care homes and when moving through the care home
- use hand sanitisers and hand washing facilities regularly
If you have any issues or concerns relating to these requirements, please discuss these with the care home
You can expect staff to be wearing PPE (personal protective equipment).
Staff will be doing all they can to keep you and your loved one safe and it’s important that you work with them to minimise risks.
What to expect when visiting your loved one
It is important to appreciate that people’s needs may have changed during the pandemic. You may need to give your relative or loved one time to adjust to having visitors again.
If you have any concerns, please speak to a member of staff.
If you become unwell during or after your visit
If you become unwell with any symptoms of COVID-19 at any point before or after your visit, please stay at home and follow the guidance for people with symptoms of a respiratory infection.
You must let the care home know as soon as possible that you have developed symptoms, and when you receive the result of your test.
Visiting during a COVID-19 outbreak
Visiting rules will depend on public health advice for the specific outbreak.
For some COVID-19 incidents or outbreaks, routine visiting may continue. The care home will be able to advise you.
If routine visiting is suspended, residents can continue to receive visits from their 2 nominated essential visitors. They may visit separately or at the same.
If the essential visitors or resident have COVID-19 the visit will not be able to take place unless there are exceptional circumstances.
Read further information on the Welsh Government’s guidance to care home providers on visiting.
If you have concerns that the visiting rules of a care home provider are too restrictive you can raise this with Care Inspectorate Wales. You can do this via the Care Inspectorate Wales raising a concern about care services page. Or you can contact them, as follows:
Care Inspectorate Wales
Welsh Government Office
Telephone: 0300 7900 126
Rydym yn croesawu galwadau a gohebiaeth yn Gymraeg / We welcome calls and correspondence in Welsh.