Updated 9th April 2021

At Encore Care Homes, our priority is keeping our residents, team and community safe during these challenging times. We also know it is important to keep relatives, family and friends, as well as the wider community up to date with the latest information about how we are managing this situation.

Government Guidelines in Summary

“The government is asking all care homes to allow every resident to name up to 2 people who can come for regular indoor visits… The named visitors will need to follow some important steps to reduce the risk of infection to the person they are visiting and to others in the care home.”


Who can visit

Every care home resident will be able to nominate two named visitors who will be able to enter the care home for regular visits. These visitors should be tested using rapid lateral flow tests before every visit, must wear the appropriate PPE kit and follow all other infection control measures (which the care home will guide them on) during visits. Visitors and residents are advised to keep physical contact to a minimum. Visitors and residents may wish to hold hands but should bear in mind that any contact increases the risk of transmission. There should not be close physical contact such as hugging.

Where visits can take place

Care home visiting should be supported wherever it is possible to do so safely – supported by this guidance and within an environment set up to manage risks.

Care homes can continue to offer visits to other friends or family members with arrangements such as outdoor visiting, substantial screens, visiting pods, or behind windows.

Continued basic safety measures

Appropriate use of PPE and social distancing must be maintained throughout the visit, and around the care home building and grounds.

Our Response at Encore

Indoor Visiting Guidelines:

  • Two nominated constant visitors will be permitted per resident.
  • Visits must be booked in advance.
  • Visits will be booked 1 hour apart. Each visit with residents will last up to 30 minutes. This will allow the first 30 minutes of the hour-booking to take the required COVID-19 Lateral Flow Test (LFT) and wait for the result.
  • Bookings will be available from 10am hourly with exception of 12pm as residents will be having lunch. Visits after 6pm will be limited and by special appointment only.
  • Appointments are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • The two nominated can visit the resident together, or separately.
  • With the agreement of the Home Manager, children under the age of 2 can accompany a nominated visitor and will not be counted as an additional visitor.

Visiting Guidelines for New Residents:

  • The new resident’s “settling in” visit with one nominated visitor will not be restricted on time.  The visitor must remain in the resident’s room for the duration.
  • New residents in a 14-day isolation period can have one nominated visitor that will be allowed to visit them during this time.  The visitor must remain in the resident’s room for the duration.

Indoor Visiting Protocol:

  • Visitors will be asked to complete a screening form to confirm they are not symptomatic, record their temperature and confirm they are not known to have been in contact with anyone who is COVID-19 positive in the previous 14 days.
  • Visitors should arrive at reception but must not enter the building. Visitors will be able to register their arrival by scanning the QR code on the poster using the camera on their mobile phone, or via a paper register. Visitors will then be shown around the outside of the building to access the designated LFT test room.
  • A Visit Facilitator will be available to meet visitors, complete the LFT test, support with handwashing/PPE requirements, and escort them to the resident’s room. They will collect them from the room when the visit is finished.
  • The Visit Facilitator will be wearing mask, gloves and apron which will be changed between each visit.
  • All visitors will be provided with shoe covers, surgical mask (not cloth face covering), apron and gloves to wear at all times.
  • Visits will take place in residents’ bedrooms only. There will be no access permitted to the communal areas of the home.
  • Contact with persons other than the resident receiving the visitor is strictly prohibited and social distancing of 2 metres must be always observed.
  • All PPE should be disposed of appropriately in a yellow bin prior to leaving the home.

Our Visiting Lounges:

The Visiting Lounges are divided by floor to ceiling clear screen and have an intercom system. We are very proud to provide this custom-made installation and have worked hard to create a warm and comfy place to re-establish regular visiting. Our aim is to ensure that contact with loved ones can be as easy and close to normal as possible.

We wanted to build a substantial structure that would see us through the winter and beyond, as the pandemic continues to be a day-to-day part of our lives. The lounges are very popular since they opened, and we are so pleased to hear and see the positive impact they are having in our homes.

Visiting Lounge Guidelines:

The additional update in response to the latest government guidance is:
  • A maximum of two people allowed in the guest side of the Visiting Lounges at any one time.
  • Handwash/alcohol gel should continue to be used on entry and exit to the Visiting Lounges.
  • Visitors must wear a face mask for the duration of the visit. (This is to reduce the risk of transmitting droplets into the room should they be a non-symptomatic carrier).
All visiting plans are subject to change at short notice in response to local outbreak status, public health and government guidance.