Guidance: Visiting arrangements in care homes

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Department Of Health


This guidance is for directors of public health, care providers and others who will be involved in planning to enable visits to care homes. It sets out:

  • an overview of the visiting practices supported by this guidance
  • advice for providers when establishing their visiting policy
  • advice for providers when taking visiting decisions for particular residents or groups of residents
  • advice on delivering safe visiting, with and without testing
  • information on visiting in exceptional circumstances such as end of life
Published 22 July 2020
Last updated 4 March 2021 +show all updates

  1. The guidance has been replaced with a new version to reflect the announcements in the roadmap published on 22 February (COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021) for the next phase in opening up care home visiting. Added a new document: ‘Summary of guidance for visitors’.

  2. Guidance updated in line with the national restrictions introduced on 6 January. Deleted 2 attachments summarising the guidance.

  3. Updated guidance about visiting in respect of Tier 4, in the ‘Overview of visiting practice supported by this guidance’ section.

  4. Updated in line with restrictions that will apply from 2 December and added a summary of the guidance.

  5. The guidance has been updated to reflect visiting arrangements in care homes while national restrictions are in place.

  6. Updated guidance with reference to local COVID alert levels and measures set out in the adult social care winter plan.

  7. Added a note to say that the guidance will be updated following publication of the adult social care winter plan.

  8. Updated to say that no one should be allowed to enter a care home if they are currently experiencing or first experienced coronavirus symptoms in the last 10 days. Also updated to say visitors should be encouraged to walk or cycle to the care home if they can.

  9. First published.

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