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New visiting guidelines – 24 July 2020

You may have seen media coverage about care providers being able to allow visitors back into care settings. The Government released guidelines about this on Wednesday 22 July 2020.

The guidelines are clear that, prior to visits being allowed, the local authority and public health will assess the suitability of a specified level of visiting guidance for the area, taking into account relevant infection and growth rates.

A framework for how care providers can now develop a revised policy for limited visits based on risk levels is set out in the guidance. This takes into account the significant vulnerability of people in care settings, the specific circumstances of the individual care setting and its local circumstances.

We want to ensure that we take the safest possible approach to further enable visits. The Government guidelines do not specify a time scale for implementation.

The guidelines indicate various types of visits that could be facilitated, some of which we are already supporting, such as external garden visits. However, the guidelines state that preventing infections in care settings must remain the priority and this means that visiting should still be restricted with alternatives sought wherever possible.

The Government is developing specific information about supported living settings and this will be published shortly. A time scale for implementation is not specified in the Government guidelines, however, we will use the guidance already published to inform how we manage this within our housing with care schemes.

This means that we need to carefully consider the guidance given by Government and ensure that it is as safe as possible for everyone. This will include the development of a revised visiting policy which will outline appropriate measures which need to be in place before we can allow visitors to return into our care settings. We will continue to engage with Registered Social Landlords to create this updated policy in our housing with care schemes.

We will let you know further details, including a date and the revised visiting policy that we will be implementing, at the earliest opportunity. 

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