On 20th October 2020 the Bishop of London received a written answer to a question she had asked Government about visiting restrictions at care homes:
The Lord Bishop of London: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of visiting restrictions at care homes on the wellbeing of residents; and what plans they have to review their policy on visiting arrangement at care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. [HL8737]
Lord Bethell: The Government is aware that limiting visits in care homes has been difficult for many families and residents who want to see their loved ones. Our priority is to prevent infections in care homes.
We recognise how important it is to allow care home residents to safely meet their loved ones, especially for those at the end of their lives. We appreciate the particular challenges visiting restrictions pose for people with dementia, people with learning disabilities and autistic adults, amongst others, as well as for their loved ones.
Care homes can now develop visiting policies based on a local dynamic risk assessment. This approach is based on the circumstances and needs of the individual care setting, including both residents and staff, and the external COVID-19 environment.
In the event of an outbreak in a care home and/or evidence of community hotspots or outbreaks, care homes may rapidly impose visiting restrictions to protect vulnerable individuals.