Regular visitors to English care homes are permitted during closure

The government has announced that the number of residents in care homes in England will be limited to a maximum of regular visitors, with meetings taking place in the open air “wherever possible”.

The guidelines published Thursday afternoon, hours after England entered the second national lockdown, said caregivers should conduct a risk assessment to allow visitors to the site in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The directive also suggested meeting through the window, despite the onset of winter.

Dementia Rights campaigner Julia Jones told BBC Radio 4’s Today program: “I think it’s very sad that some people in this country would be pathetic for the opportunity to go and look at the person they love through the window.

I hesitate to call this a “visit.”

The Ministry of Health and Welfare acknowledged that “preserving some opportunities for a visit is crucial to support the health and well-being of the population and their relationships with friends and family,” but said that this should be done “outdoors whenever possible.”

She said that the number of visitors “should be limited to one fixed visitor whenever possible, with a maximum of two permanent visitors per resident.”

This means that many people from the same family will not be able to visit their loved ones.

She said personal protective equipment (PPE) must be worn throughout the visit, with all concerned adhering to social distancing rules.

The directives said that meetings should be booked in advance, with “ad hoc” visits being denied.

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She said that visits should be stopped immediately in the event of an outbreak of the Coronavirus, except in exceptional circumstances such as an imminent death.

Sam Monaghan, CEO of charitable care provider MHA, said that routine checks for regular visitors would be the best way to facilitate face-to-face contact.

The Department of Homeland Security said the visitors’ experiments are scheduled to begin later this month.