Welsh care homes to accept visitors from tomorrow – a day earlier than planned

People will be allowed to visit relatives and friends inside care homes in Wales, the Welsh Government has announced.

Indoor visits to both adult and children’s care homes have been given the green light from August 28 – a day earlier than planned.

Visits will be subject to strict controls to help prevent transmissions of coronavirus.

Vaughan Gething (pictured), the minister for health and social services, said it would be up to each institution to determine when they would be able to begin safely facilitating visits again.

“This confirmation will be a very welcome announcement for so many across Wales,” Mr Gething said.

“Limiting access to care homes has been wholly necessary to protect some of our most vulnerable in our communities from the harms of Covid-19 but we fully appreciate the impact this has had on residents and their loved ones.

“Given the benefits to residents’ wellbeing, I hope that many homes can quickly update their procedures to enable indoor visits to take place safely.”

The change in regulations also applies to hospices and secure accommodation for children and young people.

Meanwhile, the Welsh Government is giving the police powers to issue tougher fines to prevent unlicensed music events.

The coronavirus regulations will be amended to prohibit from Friday the organising of an unlicensed music event of more than 30 people.

A breach of this prohibition will be an offence punishable by conviction and an unlimited fine or, as an alternative to conviction, by a fixed penalty set at £10,000.

This provides police in Wales with broadly equivalent powers to those being introduced at the same time in England.

“Illegal gatherings put people’s health needlessly at risk. The changes to the regulations we are introducing give the police new powers to stop these events taking place,” Mr Gething said.

“The unlimited fine or significant fixed penalty for organisers of these illegal events reflects the potentially serious public health consequences.”

The Welsh Government has not made any recent changes to the rules around gatherings in Wales.

People should not gather in groups of more than 30 people outdoors or meet with people outside of their household or extended household indoors.

Health officials are also urging young people to socially distance properly after a rise in cases of Covid-19.

Dr Robin Howe, from Public Health Wales, said: “Our investigations into a number of cases of coronavirus have indicated that a lack of social distancing, in particular by a minority of the 20 to 30 year age group, has resulted in the spread of the virus to other groups of people.

“I would make a direct appeal to young people to remember that even if they feel that they would not be badly affected by Covid-19 if they were to test positive for it, if they were to pass it on to older or more vulnerable family members, friends or colleagues it could be extremely serious, even fatal.”

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