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Care home residents in Cheshire West and Chester to be allowed second regular visitor from 12 April

From 12 April all care home residents across Cheshire West and Chester will be able to have two named visitors in addition to an essential care giver if they have higher care needs.

The relaxation in guidance follows the positive news announced last week that all care homes across the borough are now free from COVID-19 outbreaks.

Under the new national guidance every care home resident can nominate up to two named visitors, who will be able to enter the care home for regular visits (and will be able to visit together or separately as preferred).

The new rules permit parents to also bring babies and very young children as they will be not counted as one of the visitors.

To keep visitors, staff and residents safe all visitors will still need to be tested using rapid lateral flow tests before every visit, must wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and follow all other infection control measures (which the care home will guide them on) during visits.

They are also advised to keep physical contact to a minimum to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus. Close physical contact such as hugging or holding of young children and babies will still be restricted.

In addition to their two named visitors, residents with higher care needs can also choose to nominate an essential care giver.

Care homes can also continue to offer visits to other friends or family members through arrangements such as outdoor visiting, rooms with substantial screens, visiting pods, or from behind windows

More detail on how to become a named visitor or essential care giver, guidance for children visiting residents, and what to expect when visiting a loved one can be found here.

Ian Ashworth, Director of Public Health said: “We know how important this vital contact is for the mental health and wellbeing of our residents and their families.

"We would like to thank all the care workers, staff and health colleagues who have helped to make this possible and for their dedication to keeping our loved ones safe during this challenging time.

"The Council and health colleagues will continue to support our care providers with this next stage of cautious easing of restrictions and urge anyone with questions about the ease in restrictions to contact our Access Team on 0300 123 7034 or email accesswest@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk.”

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