Relatives and friends will be able to visit loved ones in care homes from next week as lockdown restrictions start to be eased.

During lockdown staff have kept care home residents connected with families through digital technology and window visits.

From Monday March 8 care home residents can have an inside visit from a designated person.

Visits are by appointment only and visitors will be required to follow strict infection prevention control procedures before and after they enter the care home.

Visitors will be tested upon arrival and need to return a negative test result for the visit to go ahead.   

Clr Musarrat Khan, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: “I am delighted that we can start to facilitate visits to residents in our care homes as lockdown restrictions ease. 

Inside the well-being pod at Castle Grange in Newsome

“Staff have worked incredibly hard to keep our elderly and vulnerable care home residents safe and well during the pandemic.

“Family members have been unable to see loved ones like they used to, and we recognise the mental health impact this has had.

“Resuming face-to-face visits will be a boost for the mental wellbeing of our care home residents and another step in the road to recovery from Covid-19.”

For residents in the council’s two dementia homes – Castle Grange in Newsome and Claremont House in Heckmondwike – up to two visitors can meet a relative in newly-installed wellbeing pods. 

Anyone wishing to visit their loved one should contact the care home directly to make arrangements. No visits will take place in the event of an outbreak.