C

are home residents will be able to spend time with loved ones in “low risk” visits without having to self-isolate on their return, the Government has said after being threatened with legal action.

From Tuesday, residents leaving their home for a walk or to visit a loved one’s garden will no longer have to isolate for two weeks on their return.

But those leaving for medical appointments and for overnight visits will still be required to self-isolate for 14 days, the PA news agency understands.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) removed the requirement for outdoor, “low risk” visits after being threatened with legal action by the charity John’s Campaign.

HEALTH Coronavirus / PA Graphics

Campaigners said the rule encourages care homes to act unlawfully by “falsely imprisoning” residents, with family members calling it “barbaric”.

Under the changes, residents on visits out must be accompanied by either a member of staff or one of their two nominated visitors, and follow social distancing throughout.

They cannot meet in groups or go indoors – except for the use of toilets – and public transport should be avoided where possible.

It is understood a resident would be able to eat outside at a restaurant or cafe with their care worker or nominated visitor if they agree this with the care home in advance.

Residents will also be able to vote in person in the upcoming local elections without having to self-isolate for 14 days afterwards.

The DHSC is expected to review the self-isolation requirement for more visits when it reaches the next stage of the Government’s road map on May 17.

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