Plan B: ‘Very likely’ care homes to be set three-visitor limit

The Government last month said there were 'no nationally set restrictions' on visits into care homes in England

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It is reportedly “very likely” care homes in England will be forced to operate with a three-visitor limit under Government plans to limit Omicron’s spread before Christmas.

Rising cases of the variant have already prompted new restrictions including the use of masks in more places, a return to working from home on Monday and mandatory Covid passports for large venues from Wednesday.

And The Daily Telegraph cites an anonymous Government source as saying it is “very likely” visitors in social care settings will be limited to three and this would only be changed “when there is a clear change of circumstances for one of them”.

Any change to the number of visitors would mark a significant shift after the Government last month said there were “no nationally set restrictions” on visits into care homes in England, amid concerns residents’ rights were being curtailed.

The Government source who spoke to the Telegraph said the idea of limiting visitors was “still awaiting ministerial clearance” and “could still be vetoed by Number 10”.

The Department of Health and Social Care has been contacted for comment.

There have been concerns throughout the pandemic about the management of restrictions in care homes.

In November, the Relatives & Residents Association said there had been a “huge disparity” in how measures have been eased for care homes and the wider public, as well as differences in how individual homes have interpreted guidance up until now.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s new curbs have him facing the prospect of a growing rebellion, as reports suggest more than 30 MPs may vote against the measures next week.