Today the Government will begin trialling mass testing in care homes across the country, helping to reunite families and friends with loved ones as quickly as possible.
Visits from loved ones are what makes life worth living for many care home residents, yet these have been few and far between over the last few months.
That is why the Government are today beginning to trial visitor testing in 20 care homes across the country, which will allow each resident to have one relative or friend who can be their ‘key visitor’, who will take a coronavirus test, and then be able to come for an indoor visit without a screen. The Trial will take place in care homes across Hampshire, Cornwall and Devon before a wider roll-out in December.
Regular testing will be offered to one family member or friend per resident, which – when combined with other infection-control measures such as PPE – will support meaningful visits. These will enable, where possible, indoor visits without a screen to take place while reducing the risk to care home residents, staff and visitors.
Visitors will be offered either PCR tests which they can do at home, or the new 30-minute rapid lateral flow tests (LFTs), which can be administered in person at care homes before a visit.
The Government want to bring an end to the pain of separation and help care homes bring families and loved ones together. The launch of visitor testing is a crucial step to making that happen.
The pilot, which forms part of plans to roll out mass testing technology across the country, has been made possible thanks to a huge expansion in the country’s testing capacity, which currently stands at over 500,000 per day.