Elderly can leave care homes this Christmas – if family get a test


ELDERLY relatives will be able to leave care homes to join their family for Christmas as long as everyone has had a test, HOAR has learnt.

In a major boost for the UK’s half million care home residents, Boris Johnson’s “festive bubbles” to be unveiled this week will include provisions for grandparents to leave residential care and join a family household.

A care home resident will be able to join a single household bubble this Christmas.

Plans have been drawn up for a single care home resident to be allowed to join a single household over Christmas if everyone in that household has tested negative for Covid-19.

Many elderly residents have been isolated from their families for months after care homes were hit hard by the virus.

Those that are able and choose to visit their families or friends will have to be tested or isolate when they return from that bubble to their care home after their festive break.

The welcome news for the elderly is part of the Christmas deal hammered out between Westminster and the Devolved Administrations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales at the weekend.


The united “four nations” approach was agreed with principle by Michael Gove and regional counterparts on Saturday, with the PM expected to outline the full details later in the week.

But HOAR revealed last week rules will be relaxed for five days from Christmas Eve until the delayed Boxing Day Bank Holiday on 28 December.

Yesterday Mr Gove announced there would be “limited additional household bubbling for a small number days” with a cap of three households coming together expected.

Households will be able to come together for a turkey dinner indoors amid fears Brits would simply ignore the rules.

The ban on household mixing in Tier 2 and 3 of Covid restrictions is to be lifted and the rule of six is set to be suspended in Tier 1 to allow bigger groups to celebrate festive season.

The Cabinet Office said there had been “good progress made by all administrations over the past few days to design a single set of arrangements that can apply across the UK.”

“Ministers reiterated the importance of allowing families and friends to meet in a careful and limited way, while recognising that this will not be a normal festive period and the risks of transmission remain very real.”