Care homes urged to think carefully on Christmas bubbles

The government has urged care homes, residents, and their families in England to think “very carefully” about joining a household for Christmas amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cabinet Office guidance for Christmas states a care home resident may form a bubble with one other household but should not form a three-household gathering as permitted for the rest of England.

Visits out of care homes however should only be considered for care home residents of working age, it adds.

“Spending time with others outside the care home will increase risk of exposure to coronavirus for the resident and the other residents in their home on their return, and is likely to place an additional burden on the care home,” says the guidance.

“Residents, their families and care homes should very carefully consider whether this is the right thing to do, or whether visiting at the care home would provide meaningful contact in a safer way," it adds.

If a care home resident does join a household for Christmas they should maintain social distance, wash hands regularly, and let plenty of fresh air into rooms.

In addition, all members of the bubble should take steps to minimise their potential exposure to coronavirus by limiting the number of people they meet for two weeks prior to allowing a care home resident into their household.

The government also advises bubble members talk to the care home about getting tested prior to meeting the care home resident outside the care home.

In order to safely return to the care home, the resident will need to be tested and isolated.

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