01 February 2021
The Government of Jersey has issued guidance to enable safe visits to care home residents.
The new guidance applies from tomorrow, Tuesday 2 February. Each care home can then reopen to visitors at a time that is right for them, depending on their capacity to plan for visitors and undertake necessary risk assessments.
Under the guidance, each resident can choose named visitors, based on the following guidelines:
- 2-2-1: if the resident is fully vaccinated – a maximum of two named visitors can visit up to twice a week, one visitor at a time
- 1-2: if the resident is not fully vaccinated – a maximum of one named visitor can visit up to twice as week
A resident is considered ‘fully vaccinated’ two weeks after their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
These are the maximum levels of visiting outlined in the guidance. Care homes may put in place more restrictive policies in order to safely manage visits, for example by limiting each visit to 30 minutes or by admitting few visitors.
Visitors to fully vaccinated residents must provide evidence of a negative PCR test at least once a month. Visitors to residents who are not fully vaccinated must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test undertaken no more than 72 hours before the visit. This is regardless of whether or not the visitor has been vaccinated. Care Homes will need to provide details of residents’ named visitors before tests may be booked.
The Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, said: “Now that a significant number of care home residents have received their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, we have brought forward guidance that will help support safe visiting in care homes.
“I’m so pleased that residents, families and friends will be able to see each other again. I must stress, however, that while the COVID-19 vaccine helps protect the recipient from illness, it is not yet known if it will prevent them transmitting Covid-19. Therefore, we must all strictly adhere to the guidance to help keep the unvaccinated safe. We must also recognise that, whilst the guidance will come into force tomorrow, it may take time for individual care homes to put in place all the necessary safeguards.
“I’d like to thank residents for their patience while being distanced from those they love, and thank the care home staff for their incredible commitment and dedication to keeping their residents as safe as possible during this difficult time.”
The full guidance is available online. It includes measures such as following good hand hygiene, wearing appropriate PPE during visits and encouragement to use the COVID Alert app.
No visits can take place in a home with a positive COVID-19 resident.