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Ban on care home residents taking trips faces legal challenge

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Campaigners have started legal action against the government over guidance that bans care home residents in England aged 65 and over from taking trips outside the home.

John's Campaign, of residents and their loved ones, says the ban is unlawful. They are also challenging the requirement for residents to self-isolate for 14 days after such visits.

The government said its guidance provides a "range of opportunities" for visitors to spend time with loved ones.

Nearly all residents have now had at least one dose of the vaccine, and care homes have been cautiously reopening, allowing indoor visits with designated family or friends.

But the government guidance, updated on 8 March, says trips to see family or friends "should only be considered" for under-65s while national Covid restrictions apply because they increase the risk of bringing Covid into a home.

Visits out for residents, whatever their age, "should be supported in exceptional circumstances such as a visit to a friend or relative at the end of their life", it adds - but on returning to the home, the resident must self-isolate for two weeks.

The legal letter sent to the Department of Health and Social Care by John's Campaign says the decision whether someone can go on a visit outside a care home should be based on individual risk assessments.

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Source: BBC News, 2 April 2021

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