Image: Cristina Serí on Unsplash
Care home residents in the UK will no longer have to self-isolate for 14 days on their return from ‘low-risk’ visits, a rule which “never made any logical sense” to a Sheffield care home manager.
Strict government guidance issued on 7 April required residents to isolate in their rooms for two weeks after going for a walk or visiting friends and family members’ gardens – a requirement which has been scrapped from today (4 May).
However, Donna Pierpoint, manager of Broomgrove Nursing Home in Sheffield, said she has not been following the previous guidance for the last three weeks, allowing residents to have outdoor visits.
“The guidance never made any logical sense. If the rest of the population could start going out, why couldn’t care home residents?” she said.
“They’ve all been double vaccinated now, so what was the point of that if it doesn’t allow them some freedom?”
Residents of Broomgrove, situated off Ecclesall Road, have already been enjoying the Spring sunshine with family members at the nearby Botanical Gardens.
Under the new guidance, people living in care homes should be accompanied by a member of staff or nominated visitor on trips outdoors, social distance and avoid using public transport.
They will be allowed to visit a polling station to participate in local elections on 6 May and care providers are encouraged to take “all reasonable steps” to support this.
Ms Pierpoint believes the Government has “backtracked” on the self-isolation requirement after lobbying from campaigners.
One group, John’s Campaign, had launched a legal challenge to the “punishing” rule and blanket ban on trips out for all care home residents aged 65 and over.
When Covid restrictions lift further on 17 May, Ms Pierpoint says guidance for care home residents also needs to change to allow them to go indoors and visit families’ houses.