Government has announced the lifting of ‘plan B’ measures for care homes from January 31, which includes scrapping visitor limits as well as cutting self-isolation periods from 14 days to 10 for those who test positive, with further reductions if they test negative on days five and six.
Previously care home residents were only allowed three visitors and one essential care worker each.
The Department of Health and Social Care said the changes were possible due to the ‘success’ of the vaccine programme.
Latest data shows 86.5 per cent of all care home residents in England have now had their booster jab.
Health and social care secretary Sajid Javid said: ‘I know how vital companionship is to those living in care homes and the positive difference visits make, which is why we continued to allow three named visitors and an essential care giver under plan B measures.
‘Thanks to the progress we have made, I am delighted that care home restrictions can now be eased further allowing residents to see more of their loved ones.’
As part of the new rules testing and self-isolation requirements following normal visits out have also been removed for care home residents.
And by February 16, care workers will be asked to use lateral flow tests before their shifts replacing the use of weekly asymptomatic PCR tests.
Minister for care, Gillian Keegan, added: ‘Thanks to the continued success of the vaccine rollout, I am delighted we can ease restrictions in care settings and allow unlimited visits to ensure people living in care homes see all their family and friends.
‘The changes announced today are backed by scientists, ensuring we all have more freedoms from coronavirus, including care home residents and their families.’