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What care home visitors need to do to ensure the safety of care home residents and staff.

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First published:
26 April 2022
Last updated:

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 confirm that you have complied with the guidance for positive cases. This includes having 2 consecutive negative tests 24 hours apart.

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.

You will need to take a lateral flow test (LFT) 24 hours before your visit. The test checks whether someone may be infectious at the time of the visit and helps to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Some care homes allow visitors to do LFTs at home before your visit. If you have an agreement with the care home to take a LFT at home, please take the test in the 24 hours before the visit. You need to show evidence of a negative test when you arrive. 

Unfortunately, if your test is positive, you will not be able to proceed with your visit.

If your test is negative you will be able to proceed with your visit.

During your visit

To reduce the risk of spreading COVID -19 you will be required 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 get tested.

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

During an outbreak at the care home, residents may continue to receive visits from their 2 nominated essential visitors. They may visit separately or at the same.

Read further information on the Welsh Government’s guidance to care home providers on visiting.

Reporting concerns

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
Sarn Mynach
Llandudno Junction
LL31 9RZ

Telephone: 0300 7900 126

Rydym yn croesawu galwadau’n Gymraeg / We welcome calls in Welsh