Guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19) lateral flow testing of visitors in care homes

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Department Of Health

Post-pilot rollout clinical guidance for testing visitors to care homes with LFDs

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In light of the national lockdown, visits to care homes can still take place with arrangements such as substantial screens or visiting pods but, for the safety of loved ones, close-contact indoor visits supported by lateral flow testing cannot take place.

Visits should only take place:

  • outdoors, which can include at a window
  • in a visiting pod or similar type of arrangement
  • indoors, as long as there is a substantial screen between the resident and visitor
  • in exceptional circumstances, including end of life

For further information, please see further guidance on visiting care homes during COVID-19.

Further updates will be provided as the situation changes.

Published 8 December 2020
Last updated 2 March 2021 +show all updates

  1. Removed 5 attachments: ‘Care home LFD testing of visitors guidance’, ‘Visitor testing guidance pack’, ‘Care home LFD testing of visitors guidance’, ‘Visitor testing guidance pack’ and ‘Letter to care home visitors LFD testing’.

  2. Updated all guidance to outline a pause in LFD-enabled visits to care homes, explain how indoor visits can continue for contact-free visiting, and update test kit registration processes.

  3. Updated ‘Care home LFD testing of visitors guidance’ to add link to the online registration portal.

  4. First published.

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