COVID-19: Updated guidance on visiting a care home

Find out what you need to know about visiting a care home in Greenwich this winter
Older man in mask in care home with carer

The Government has updated their advice on supporting safe visiting in care homes.

Key information

  • If you live in a care home, you can select three named visitors and one essential care giver to visit you indoors.
  • Every care home resident can nominate an essential care giver who can visit during an outbreak or period of isolation.
  • Following a COVID-19 outbreak at a care home, visits will pause until the whole home has completed two rounds of negative PCR tests, taken four to seven days apart. This means outbreaks could be declared over in some homes after seven or eight days. Restrictions could be in place for longer periods if there has been an outbreak of a variants of concern.

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Would you like to visit someone in a care home?

Please speak to the care home manager about becoming an 'essential care giver'. Every resident can choose one. 

Where a resident lacks the capacity to choose an essential care giver, the care home should discuss the situation with the resident’s family, friends, attorney, deputy or anyone else who may usually have visited.

An essential care giver is someone who:

  • Can visit even when the person is self-isolating or during a Covid outbreak (providing they don't have Covid)
  • Helps the person feel happier and well
  • Provides companionship and support (you don't need to provide hands on care)
  • Is not required to visit a certain number of times each week
  • Would be supported with Infection Prevention and Control (e.g. hand hygiene and using personal protective equipment)
  • Would have the same regular COVID-19 testing as staff

More advice and information on visiting rights:


Residents Association Helpline: 0207 359 8136 (Note that lines are open 9.30am-1pm Monday-Friday / 6pm-8pm Thursday)

Greenwich Carers Centre Advice line: 0300 555 1515

When you should not visit a care home:

  • If you are feeling unwell, even if you have tested negative for COVID-19 and are fully vaccinated and have received your booster. Transmissible viruses such as flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and norovirus can be just as dangerous to care home residents as COVID-19. If you have any symptoms that suggest other transmissible viruses and infections, such as cough, high temperature, diarrhoea or vomiting, you should avoid the care home until at least 5 days after they feel better
  • If you have been been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19,  even if you have been fully vaccinated. You should have received a negative PCR test result prior to your visit, and a negative lateral flow test result earlier in the day of their visit

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