Guidance: Visiting arrangements in care homes

Department Of Health

November 25
15:12 2021


This guidance is for directors of public health, care providers and others who will be involved in planning to enable visits to care homes. It sets out:

  • visits that should happen in all circumstances
  • safe visiting practices
  • when different visiting arrangements are needed
  • sources of information and support
Published 22 July 2020
Last updated 25 November 2021 +show all updates
  1. Updated to place more emphasis on fact visits should take place wherever is most comfortable for the resident, visiting restrictions due to an outbreak should only be in place for 7 to 8 days following negative testing, and that physical contact should be supported to help health and wellbeing. Advice around flu and other transmissible viruses has also been added, along with guidance on how care homes can support residents on visits outside of the care home.

  2. Removed reference to the guidance on the MCA and the application of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  3. Updated 'Guidance on care home visiting' to reflect the change in guidance on 16 August that you no longer have to self-isolate after confirmed close contact with a positive case of COVID-19 if you are fully vaccinated or under 18. Temporarily removed 'Summary of COVID-19 guidance for visitors' while it is being updated.

  4. Clarification on PPE usage when caring for residents with learning disabilities.

  5. Updated to reflect that from 19 July, restrictions will be removed on the number of visitors care home residents can receive overall or on any one day.

  6. Updated the section 'In the event of an outbreak in the care home' to add the Delta variant as a variant of concern.

  7. Updated to reflect that: 1. Care home residents should isolate following a visit only where it includes an overnight stay in hospital, or is deemed high-risk following an individual risk assessment. 2. Residents no longer should isolate on admission into the care home from the community. 3. Every resident can nominate an essential care giver.

  8. Adding call-out box to press release, 'Care home residents can stay overnight as visiting restrictions ease.'

  9. Removed 'Visiting arrangements: one-page overview' (PDF and HTML versions).

  10. Updated Guidance on care home visiting and Summary of guidance for visitors to reflect that from 17 May care home residents will be able to nominate up to 5 visitors for regular visits into the home.

  11. Updated the summary of guidance for visitors to include changes to PPE advice.

  12. Corrected to reflect that named visitors should be tested using rapid LFTs on the day of every visit.

  13. Updated 'Guidance on care home visiting' and 'Summary of guidance for visitors' to reflect the availability of self-testing for visitors.

  14. Updated 'Guidance on care home visiting', 'Summary of guidance for visitors' and 'Visiting arrangements: one-page overview' to reflect that from 12 April, each care home resident can name up to 2 people who can come for regular indoor visits. In the 'Guidance on care home visiting', updated the section on essential care givers and added a new section on visits involving children and young people aged under 18.

  15. Updated 'Guidance on care home visiting' to say that being on the Shielded Patient List does not prevent a care home resident from receiving visitors.

  16. Added a one-page overview of the guidance.

  17. The guidance has been replaced with a new version to reflect the announcements in the roadmap published on 22 February (COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021) for the next phase in opening up care home visiting. Added a new document: 'Summary of guidance for visitors'.

Related Articles


  1. We don't have any comments for this article yet. Why not join in and start a discussion.

Write a Comment

Your name:
Your email:

Post my comment

Recent Comments

Follow Us on Twitter

Share This

Enjoyed this? Why not share it with others if you've found it useful by using one of the tools below: