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Care home residents can visit loved ones without isolating after 'barbaric' rules dropped
4 May 2021, 05:51 | Updated: 4 May 2021, 14:16
Care home residents can leave to go for a walk without having to self-isolate for 14 days when returning from today.
They will also be allowed to visit a loved one's garden and vote in the upcoming local elections without having to shut themselves off for two weeks.
Relatives of residents had attacked the previous rules, which had required them to isolate when leaving, as "barbaric", alongside LBC's Nick Ferrari.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said previously: "We know how challenging this time has been for care home residents, so I am pleased that they can now leave their homes to reunite with their loved ones outdoors.
"With the data continuing to head in the right direction and as restrictions ease, it is my priority to keep increasing visits for residents in the coming weeks in a safe and controlled way."
Residents will still need to self-isolate for 14 days if they embark on an overnight visit or attend medical appointments.
They cannot meet in groups or go indoors, except to use toilets, and have been asked to avoid public transport where possible.
Shelagh Fogarty speaks of opposition to current Covid care home rules
Residents could eat at a restaurant or cafe with a care worker or nominated visitor if this is agreed with the home in advance.
They must also be accompanied by a member of staff or one of their nominated visitors, and observe social distancing.
The Department of Health and Social Care is expected to review whether other types of visits will require self-isolation before May 17, the next stage of England's easing of Covid restrictions.
The charity John's Campaign has threatened legal action as campaigners accused the self-isolation requirements of forcing care homes to act unlawfully by "falsely imprisoning" residents.
John's Campaign co-founder Nicci Gerrard called the news a "chink of light for residents of care homes and their families".
Data shows 95% of elderly residents have had one dose of a Covid vaccine, and 71% have received two.