Care home visiting restrictions relaxed in Scotland

The time limit for indoor visits in Scottish care homes will be extended from 30 minutes to up to four hours, Holyrood has confirmed.

New guidance published by the Scottish Government yesterday (12 October) means that outdoor visits can be extended to include up to six visitors from no more than two households, including children and young people, for up to one hour per visit.

Family pets and therapy animals will also be allowed to make outdoor and indoor visits if agreed with the care home.

And gifts and residents’ belongings can be brought in by visitors, when agreed with the care home manager in advance.

This latest guidance has been developed with input from family members, carers, and clinicians to offer greater flexibility in visiting arrangements, and indoor visiting in particular, as winter approaches,’ said Scottish health minister, Jeane Freeman.

‘We will continue to actively consider how we can best support visiting in care homes, and protect those who are at most risk from this virus.’

The chief executive of Age Scotland Brian Sloan said the new guidance had been a ‘long time coming’ but it will nonetheless be a ‘huge boost for care home residents and their families’.

‘Family members can at long last visit their loved ones in care homes for up to four hours, indoors and, where it safe to do so, hold their hand for the first time in almost seven months. The importance and benefits of this cannot be underestimated,’ said Mr Sloan.

‘It is essential that increased visits to care homes are now available to everyone wherever possible. With PPE and other protective measures in place, older people in care homes will be able to reconnect with their relatives and feel part of their family again.’

Photo Credit – BarryPit (Pixabay)

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