Grandmother using iPad to speak to her Grandson

People living in care homes have the right to a private and family life. But as many care home residents are particularly at risk from coronavirus, it’s essential that visitors and care homes continue to work together to balance staying safe with supporting residents’ mental and physical wellbeing.

With the exception of some island communities, much of Scotland was placed into Level 4 restrictions on Tuesday 5 January. Learn more about coronavirus protection levels.

Under Level 4, visiting a care home indoors is restricted to essential visits only.

Essential visits can only take place when residents are extremely distressed by the separation from their families, or to allow families and friends time with loved ones if they are approaching the end of their life. If you are visiting a care home in these circumstances, this is classified as essential travel and is exempt from coronavirus travel restrictions.

It means that all outdoor visits – like garden and window visits – are not allowed.

Should we move back into tiered levels of lockdown, and subject to the detail surrounding each tier, garden and window visits may be allowed in the near future. However, as we remain in national lockdown, they are not permitted at this time.

As soon as we know more about how and when we can reintroduce visits as part of the Scottish Government’s plan to gradually exit lockdown, we will let you know.

You can find out more about care home visits on NHS Inform.