Northamptonshire care homes prepare for reunions on Monday with change in rules over visitors
It will get emotional on Monday when care home residents will be able to nominate one regular visitor here's what you need to know
Care homes across Northamptonshire are preparing to welcome regular visitors again this Monday following a change in guidance.
Starting March 8, residents at care homes will be able to nominate one named visitor who will be able to enter the home regularly.
It stands to be an emotional day for thousands of people waiting to see their loved ones again - although restrictions have still warned that "should not be close physical contact" like hugging.
A press conference today head how Northamptonshire care home received Government guidance yesterday (March 4), giving them just three days to get ready.
Acting director of Adult Social Care for Northamptonshire Katie Brown said: "We know that for hundreds of people in Northamptonshire you have been waiting incredibly patiently in this pandemic and we thank you.
"However, this is an ask to everyone to please be patient with care homes while they put the guidance in place.
"One of the very few highlights of the last year in what has been a real challenge was when visiting was first allowed last summer and those videos and pictures of reunions at care homes were truly amazing."
The guidance starting on March 8 states:
■ Each resident will be allowed to have a single nominated visitor that will be able to enter the home, subject to them having a clear lateral flow test.
■ Infection prevention measures such as PPE will be in place
■ Visitors are advised to keep physical contact to a minimum.
■ Holding hands is okay - but visitors should bear in mind that any contact increases risk of contamination.
■ There should not be close physical contact such as hugging
■ The "active outbreak rule" will still be the same, where restrictions will be localized to the care home in the case of outbreaks. If so, visits will only be allowed for people who are receiving end of life care.
■ Care homes can continue to offer visiting to other friends or family members with arrangements such as outdoor visiting, screens, pods or behind windows.
Four out of every ten people in Northamptonshire have now received at least a first dose of coronavirus vaccine.
NHS teams across the county delivered an astonishing 35,000 jabs in just seven days between February 22 and February 28, according to official figures released today (Thursday).
It means that 228,834 out of a target population of 584,635 got at least one dose of the life-saving vaccine by the end of February.
Nearly 11,000 of those have also received the second dose, due within 12 weeks of the first.
Today's figures also revealed that 92,582 out 490,000 aged between 16 and 69 have been jabbed with around 97 per cent of over-70s done.