Elderly relatives ‘can leave care homes for Christmas if family have Covid test’

Families will be able to reunite with their elderly loved ones even if they live in a care home this Christmas – as long as they have a negative test, it has been reported.

In a big boost for the festive season, half a million of the UK’s care home residents will be allowed to tuck in to their turkey with their families, it's claimed.

Under plans reported by The Sun, Boris Johnson will set out “festive bubbles” this week that will see grandparents leave residential care and join another household.

The plan, yet to be announced formally, would have a single care home resident join one other single household for Christmas if everyone in that household has tested negative for the virus.

It means that many of the UK’s most isolated residents, who have been stopped from seeing their families for months, would be allowed to enjoy the festive period.

Those that are able to, 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.

Care homes have been hit hard by the virus, with some trifling ‘prison-style’ plastic screens last week in a bid to improve visits and make them Covid-19 secure.

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Key visitors will be tested weekly at locations across Hampshire, Cornwall and Devon.

It means they will finally be able to hug and hold hands with their relatives if they test negative beforehand.

But the new rules will mean they can come to stay in the homes of their families if they want to as well.

It comes as Boris Johnson announces England’s return to the three-tier system once the national lockdown ends on December 2.

It has been reported that the PM will relax regulations for five days from Christmas eve in a bid to give Brits some semblance of normality for the holiday.

Michael Gove admitted over the weekend that there would be “limited additional household bubbling for a small number of days” during the festive break.

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.

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