Care home visitor testing pilot to start within days – Minister

A pilot where relatives of care home residents will be tested for coronavirus before visiting loved ones will start in days, the Government has said.

Relatives of residents in 30 care homes will be tested prior to visits from November 16, Care Minister Helen Whately said.

It will take place in four local authority areas where transmission of coronavirus is lower, and the aim is to then roll the programme out more widely in December.

Ms Whately said in a Westminster Hall debate that the trial will allow experts to “assess the practicalities of testing and also make sure we are confident in the safety of this”.

Looking ahead, she said: “I think the combination of testing, and a vaccine, and of course the supply of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) should put us in a much much better position to achieve the level of visiting that all of us want there to be.”

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