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National Guidance: Autumn and Winter plan

For us to have a safe and unrestricted winter, we need everyone to remain vigilant and comply with guidance. Everyone, including those who are fully vaccinated, should follow behaviours and actions that reduce transmission and help to keep people safe.

To find out more about the Autumn and Winter plan see GOV.UK.

Back to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Care sector

Information to protect care homes, vulnerable and older people from Coronavirus in Torbay.

  • Government guidance on care home visiting
  • Every care home resident can have ‘named visitors’ who will be able to enter the care home for regular visits. There is no limit on the number of ‘named visitors’ or how many can visit in a single day.
  • These visitors should be tested using rapid lateral flow tests before every visit, must wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and follow all other infection control measures (which the care home will guide them on) during visits.
  • Testing onsite at the care home is preferable for assurance purposes. However, recognising that individuals now have access to testing through other routes and visitors may be travelling long distances to visit, care home managers can allow visitors to provide evidence of a recent negative test undertaken through other means if the test has been taken that same day. Alternative routes may include:
  • assisted testing at another lateral flow site such as an asymptomatic testing site (ATS)
  • self-testing at home through test kits provided by the care home once care homes have access to packs of seven test kits (which the MHRA has authorised for self-test use)
  • self-testing at home using test kits provided by the government such as at a school, workplace, the universal testing offer, or collected from a pharmacy
  • Visitors and residents are advised to keep physical contact to a minimum. Physical contact like handholding is acceptable if handwashing protocols are followed. Close personal contact such as hugging presents higher risks but will be safer if it is between people who are fully vaccinated, without face-to-face contact, and there is brief contact only
  • In addition to their named visitors, residents with higher care needs can also choose to nominate an essential care giver, they should be enabled to visit in most circumstances, including if the care home is in an outbreak (but not if the essential care giver or resident are COVID-positive, or they are not fully vaccinated and are identified as a close contact of someone who is COVID-positive).
  • Care homes can also continue to offer visits to other friends or family members through arrangements such as outdoor visiting, rooms with substantial screens, visiting pods, or from behind windows.
  • Care home residents can visit family and friends, including overnight stays. They can nominate an ‘essential care giver’ to provide additional support during visits including access to the same personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing supply as care home workers, and should be allowed to continue to visit during periods of isolation or where there is an outbreak.


Read a summary of the guidance for visitors.

Care homes can also download and print the posters to display within their workspaces.

For more assets available to download go to Additional Resources

Contact Public Health