Sussex care home says easing of Covid restrictions leaves them in 'catch 22' situation

Report by ITV Meridian's Tom Savvides

A care home in West Sussex has told ITV Meridian the relaxation of Covid restrictions from next week could leave them in a 'catch 22' situation.

Care home residents in England can receive unlimited visitors from Monday, the Department of Health said, as more curbs to tackle the Omicron Covid variant are eased.

Residents will also be allowed to go out, without having to isolate on their return.

Manager of Hailsham House Care Home in Sussex, Katie Brewster told ITV Meridian they cautiously welcome the news.

"This is a catch 22 for us, because it's great news for relatives, and is causing a lot of excitement for residents, but in reality it's quite difficult for us.

"The number of Covid cases out in the local community are extremely high.

"We will still be asking people to wear masks, still be asking relatives to book visits so that we have a reduced footfall in the home to keep residents as safe as possible.

"So it's not the greatest news for us.

Katie Brewster

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “I know how vital companionship is to those living in care homes and the positive difference visits make, which is why we continued to allow three named visitors and an essential care giver under Plan B measures.

“Thanks to the progress we have made, I am delighted that care home restrictions can now be eased further, allowing residents to see more of their loved ones.”

Care minister Gillian Keegan said: “Thanks to the continued success of the vaccine rollout, I am delighted we can ease restrictions in care settings and allow unlimited visits to ensure people living in care homes see all their family and friends.

“The changes announced today are backed by scientists, ensuring we all have more freedoms from coronavirus, including care home residents and their families.”Covid-related absences of NHS staff at hospitals in England are also continuing to fall, but levels are still higher than before Christmas