Liverpool City Council has delayed the start of its pilot in which some relatives of care home residents will be able visit loved ones – without a screen – if they test negative with a Lateral Flow Covid-19 test on arrival for the visit.
This pause – until 3rd December – will allow more time to talk with care homes, residents and their families, and to consider new national guidance alongside Liverpool’s move from Tier 3 to Tier 2 for managing Covid.
Councillor Paul Brant, Cabinet member for Adult Health and Social Care said: “We know that there had been a huge amount of anticipation about using the lateral flow tests to help people to get closer to their relatives in care homes, and we hope to proceed with this scheme as soon as further preparations have been completed.
“We hope those affected understand that we need to be extra careful in preparing to support and protect our most vulnerable citizens, and we thank them for their patience and understanding.
“Unlike some other councils, we have never had a blanket ban on care home visits, but we appreciate that it does not feel natural to be behind a screen when visiting someone that you care about.
“Care home residents and staff will be among the first groups to get the new vaccines if they are approved in the near future, as part of the national rollout, which will hopefully mean we can ease some of the restrictions that are in place at the moment.”
The scheme is part of Liverpool’s pilot of regular testing for people without symptoms, known as community testing or SMART (Smart Asymptomatic Meaningful Repeated Testing).