Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing for designated visitors of care home residents has started this week with a trial across five local authority areas.
Lateral flow testing of designated visitors is being trialled in 14 early adopter care homes in North Ayrshire, Fife, Argyll and Bute, Inverclyde, and Aberdeenshire.
Testing kits will then be sent out to all care homes from Monday 14 December, as announced by the First Minister on Wednesday, once guidance and training materials have been finalised following the trial.
For any care homes unable to make use of lateral flow tests before Christmas, PCR testing of visitors will be available when necessary to facilitate visiting over the festive period.
Guidance, tools and resources on visiting, and supporting residents in care homes during COVID-19 (incl over the festive season)
Guidance on how care home visiting may be gradually increased while minimising risks to residents, staff and visitors has been issued. The guidance recommends care homes take a staged approach to resuming visiting. In addition, the guidance sets out actions to mitigate risks to residents, visitors and staff.
For all care homes, regardless of Covid status, essential visits are to be supported where possible to do so safely, without a defined time limit.