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Following the recent announcement of measures to minimise the impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant, new restrictions are due to come into place on Wednesday 15th December. We know how important it is that the people we support to keep in contact with their loved ones, and will continue to support visits in line with this new guidance.
From 15th December, residents can receive regular visits from up to 4 named people – 3 nominated visitors and an essential caregiver. There are no restrictions on how often – or for how long – these 4 people can visit. Services will work with the people we support, and their families, to confirm who the named visitors are so that we can hold these on record.
Visits must be pre-booked with the service, and visitors will still need to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test (LFT) before they are allowed in.
An LFT can either be carried out by the visitor earlier on the day of their visit, or on arrival at the service. If the LFT is to be carried out at the service, the visitor must arrive 30 mins prior to the booked slot to allow time for the results to be returned.
Current guidelines permit those living in residential services to take trips out of the home. This applies to both day trips and overnight stays. These trips can be to visit loved ones who are not one of their 4 nominated visitors. However, the new guidance requires that additional precautions are taken when they return:
Those who have been fully vaccinated (both Coronovirus vaccinations and their Covid booster jab) will not need to isolate on their return to the service. However, they will need to carry out an LFT testing regime every other day for 14 days following their return. No further action is needed as long as the LFT results are negative.
Those who have not received 2 Covid-19 vaccinations will need to isolate for 14 days following their return to the service.
Anyone returning from hospital or a trip out of the home that is considered to be ‘high risk’ will be required to self-isolate for 14 days, regardless of their vaccination status.
We will continue to do everything we can to keep those we support, team members and families safe and well.
This includes continuing to adhere to PPE, infection protection and control measures, and testing regimes that we already have in place across all of our services. We will also be increasing our testing frequency to 3 LFT tests and a PCR test per staff member, per week, in line with the new government guidance.