Vaughan Gething MS, Minister for Health and Social Services, Julie Morgan MS, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services
Members will be aware of the measures which have been put in place to protect people living and working in care homes from the risk of COVID-19 infection. This has included a restriction on visits from family and friends in all but exceptional circumstances.
We recognise in particular the impact that these restrictions are having on the well-being of people living in care homes. It has been exceptionally difficult for all concerned. However, the easing of restrictions on 1 June gave us all the opportunity to meet people from one other household outdoors and within a 5 mile travelling distance. The Welsh Government Deputy Director General, Health and Social Services Group, wrote to all care home providers on 5 June to support them in their planning to accommodate outdoor visits safely, consistent with the current stage of lockdown: https://gov.wales/visits-care-homes-and-coronavirus-guidance-service-providers
Consistent with the Chief Medical Officer’s advice face coverings are not required to be worn by visitors, when visits are outdoors and social distancing is maintained. A further letter has been issued to clarify this to the sector.
Officials are working with Care Inspectorate Wales, Public Health Wales and stakeholders including the Older People’s Commissioner and Care Forum Wales to develop more detailed guidance. This will be published in the coming weeks, and will be kept under review as lockdown restrictions change.