Coronavirus restrictions for adult social care in England are being eased today, meaning care home residents can receive an unlimited number of visitors.
Isolation periods for those who test positive for COVID have also been cut from 14 days to 10 day, with further reductions if the person has a negative test on days five and six.
Care homes will have to follow outbreak management rules for 14 days, rather than 28; and by 16 February care workers will be asked to take lateral flow tests before their shifts, replacing the current system of weekly PCR tests.
Government data shows 86.5% of care home residents have had their booster jab.
In December, it was announced care home residents would only be allowed three named people as regular visitors, in an effort to protect them from the rapidly-spreading Omicron variant.
The government said it changed the rules for care home visits “to balance the current COVID-19 risk and the need to keep people safe in line with clinical advice”.
Staff testing was also increased to three lateral flow tests per week, as well as a weekly PCR.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said last week: “I know how vital companionship is to those living in care homes and the positive difference visits make, which is why we continued to allow three named visitors and an essential care giver under Plan B measures.
“Thanks to the progress we have made, I am delighted that care home restrictions can now be eased further allowing residents to see more of their loved ones.”