Welsh Government has updated its guidance on visits to care homes as coronavirus levels remain low and vaccination rates remain the best in the UK.

The restriction on overall visitor numbers has been lifted from this week. Up to two people can now visit a resident indoors at the same time – they no longer need to be designated visitors.

Those wishing to visit relatives and friends at care homes in Bridgend County Borough are advised that they should get in contact with the home before visiting to check what arrangements are in place.

Visitors will be required to take a lateral flow test for Covid-19 before being allowed to enter. Results are returned within 30 minutes.

Face coverings must be worn when entering the home, and visitors should follow all rules on social distancing and hand hygiene. Hand holding may be allowed in some circumstances and visitors must wash their hands before and after any contact, and adhere to instructions given.

PPE should be worn where there is likely to be more significant close contact with the resident, and particularly when there is an increased infection risk.

Councillor Nicole Burnett, Bridgend County Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help, said: “We know that being able to see relatives and friends is important to care home residents, and we are doing everything we can to ensure indoor visits are as safe as possible.

“Before visiting, relatives and friends must contact the relevant home to find out what arrangements are in place.

“We have to ensure that visits are implemented in a way that meets all requirements of the revised guidance from Welsh Government, so please bear with us.

“In order to protect everyone living and working in care homes, you must not visit if you are symptomatic, have tested positive, are awaiting a test result or are a close or household contact of a positive case of Covid-19. You should follow Welsh Government’s self-isolation guidance.

“Staff are doing all they can to keep you and your loved one safe so it’s important that you work with them to minimise risks.”

For more information about the new guidance, visit the Welsh Government website.