10 March 2021
Updated Public Health guidance for care home residents, staff and visitors has been approved, effective from Friday 12 March. The updated guidance relaxes controls of visiting and trips out, while still advising caution during the roll the out of the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme.
The guidance sets out that fully vaccinated residents can have two named visitors, with no limit on the frequency of visits. Residents who are not fully vaccinated (have only received their first dose or received their second less than two weeks ago) can have one named visitor, with no limit on frequency of visits.
All visitors should still provide evidence of negative PCR test at least once a month, but those visiting residents who are not fully vaccinated should provide a negative result from a PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before visiting.
Care home residents are no longer strongly discouraged from leaving the care home for trips out. However, where if the resident is not fully vaccinated, it is recommended that trips out are spent with just named visitors or people who are household members of named visitors.
Guidance on trips out into the community includes advice around maintaining 2 metre distance from the public, wearing masks, using sanitiser, and avoiding public transport. Spending time outdoors is recommended as a safer option for residents wanting to spend time away from the care home.
The Activity Risk Guide available on gov.je/shielding can be used to establish activities outside of the home which present higher or lower risks.
The Minister for Health and Social Services said: “I’m really pleased that we can begin to relax the guidance on care home visiting since the vaccination programme is making such good progress. As we enter the Spring months, residents can begin to enjoy leaving their home for activities which will greatly benefit their health and wellbeing.
“The safety of our most vulnerable remains our highest priority and so we must remain cautious when easing measures. The guidance for care homes works alongside the individual policies within each care home where visiting times, visitor numbers and any compassionate measures can be agreed with care home managers.
“I take this opportunity to remind all Islanders, that you should be staying 2 metres away from anyone you don’t live with, as our vulnerable Islanders start to enjoy community settings again, this is even more important and should continue to be respected where possible.”
The guidance can be found in full online, (updated from Friday) which includes guidance for professionals visiting care homes to provide services, the guidance prior to visiting a home, and guidance during visits.
The updated guidance will be online from Friday, 12 March.