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Our response to living with Coronavirus

The safety of residents, colleagues and visitors continues to be our priority


Our approach to living with Coronavirus

Last updated: 18 January 2023

To find out more about our revised approach please look at the links below:

There is no longer any need to book in advance to visit your loved one – although if you are travelling a significant distance, it would be sensible to call in advance to make sure the home hasn’t gone into outbreak. There is also no longer a requirement for you to show a negative Lateral Flow Test, complete a health screening form or to wear a face mask unless specifically requested by the home.

However, we ask everyone to continue to take sensible precautions such as considering limiting close contact and ensuring rooms are well ventilated while maintaining a comfortable temperature.

Please note, you should not enter the care home if you are feeling unwell, even if you have tested negative, are fully vaccinated, and have received your booster. 

This is because viruses such as flu, respiratory syncytial virus and norovirus can be just as dangerous to care home residents as Covid. If you have any symptoms that suggest an infection such as a cough, high temperature, diarrhoea, or vomiting, please stay away from your loved one until at least five days after you feel better.

We are also delighted to let you know that those homes which have a cafe or coffee shops have reopened them as we know how much residents enjoy meeting their families and friends in these settings. Infection control measures will be in place to keep everyone safe so please do bear with us at busy times. 

If a home goes into outbreak

Our top priority is always the safety and wellbeing of residents and team members. 

Should more than two people have Covid symptoms, and their cases are linked, the home will go into outbreak. The leadership team will then implement the tried and tested measures in our outbreak management plan, designed to reduce the risk of infection spreading. 

We know how frustrating this can be for families and have reduced the length of time the outbreak period is in place in line with Government guidance. Decisions about outbreaks are made in conjunction with the local Health Protection Teams. 

If in outbreak, one named person can continue to visit at any time, with one further visitor, subject to risk assessment by the home. They will need to continue to carry out Lateral Flow Tests following the same regime as a care home employee.

Essential visitors such as ambulance crews or contractors required to do emergency repairs will still be permitted to visit. However non-essential visitors such as hairdressers and entertainers may be temporarily paused during an outbreak.

We can now provide residents with greater opportunities to engage in activities outside of the home, participate in trips and outings and interact within their local community. Residents who take trips out from the home will no longer be required to self-isolate on their return.

We are delighted to have reintroduced in-person show rounds for anyone considering a move to one of our homes – the home's team will advise on any extra infection control measures we might ask for.

Admissions may still be possible even if a home is in outbreak. Each is treated on a case-by-case basis and the home team will discuss the arrangements, timings and requirements with families in advance.

New residents will need to have had a recent PCR test and not to have been in close contact with someone showing Covid symptoms in the previous ten days. If a resident is unable to provide this, then they will be supported in their room for a period of self-isolation.

We will not permit anyone who has recently tested positive to move into one of our homes.

Our approach to living with Covid

We are very pleased that since the Covid booster programme we have regained more normality in day-to-day care home life. 


Family members and friends can visit without pre-booking, with no requirement to complete a health screening form, take a Lateral Flow Test or to wear a mask. Cafés and coffee shops have reopened and larger gatherings involving people from the local community are permitted outdoors.

It is important to remember that if a home goes into outbreak or there is a suspected case of Covid, the team will need to reinstate infection control measures. 

The home leadership team will advise you should this occur.

We are also delighted to have reintroduced in-person show rounds for anyone considering a move to one of our homes.

Whilst being vaccinated is no longer mandatory, Care UK strongly believes that all health and social care colleagues have a professional responsibility to reduce the risk of infection to others and we will continue to encourage our teams to have all their vaccinations.

We also strongly recommend that all residents and their visitors are fully vaccinated, including future boosters, unless medically exempt.

We look forward to being able to welcome you to our homes and we thank you for your patience, understanding and support over the past few years.

Care UK’s approach to the on-going management of Covid

  • Our teams  follow guidance around social distancing, respiratory and hand hygiene measures and the correct wearing of PPE. The vast majority are fully vaccinated.
  • We have maintained a high stock level of PPE, cleaning and decontamination items and continue to source from multiple suppliers to reduce the risk of any future shortages.
  • We are taking advantage of all available testing, ensuring colleagues and residents are tested in line with guidance from Government and local health protection teams.
  • We continue to invest in new technologies to maintain family connections, whilst supporting face to face visiting.
  • We are not accepting Covid-positive admissions and prefer all new residents to have been fully vaccinated prior to admission. New admissions are usually no longer required to shield on arrival.
  • We appointed two senior nurses as Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Leads to provide additional scrutiny and support at a national level and there is an IPC Champion for each home to support colleagues in their understanding of, and compliance with, our approaches to IPC, cleanliness and hygiene.
  • Should there be a confirmed or suspected case of Covid-19 in one of our homes, the home will follow an Outbreak Management Plan which includes additional safety and IPC protocols.
  • External entertainers and hairdressers are able to visit homes not in outbreak providing they follow the same protocols as other professional visitors and follow PPE and infection prevention control guidance.
  • Our housekeeping teams are continuing to deliver enhanced cleaning regimes using high quality decontamination equipment and hygiene products.

Frequently asked questions

The safety of residents, colleagues and visitors continues to be our priority, but we are pleased to welcome visitors into our homes again. Visitors no longer need to book in advance, take a Lateral Flow Test or wear a mask unless requested by the home.

If the home is experiencing high cases of COVID-19, one named person can continue to visit at any time, with one further visitor, subject to risk assessment by the home. They will also need to show a negative Lateral Flow Test.

Yes, children can visit Care UK care homes. We would suggest calling the care home ahead of time to see if you could time your visit with an activity the child would like to join in with, such as an animal visit or craft project, and to ask the team how your loved one is feeling that day. Read more about making the most of your visit with children.

You are no longer required to wear a face mask unless requested by the home, but we ask visitors to take sensible precautions like opening a window or limiting close contact. Please note that if a home is experiencing high cases of COVID-19 the team may reinstate infection control measures to keep residents safe.