But need for care and caution
Care providers said today was a special day as many were able to reunite care and nursing home residents with their families again after months apart.
But as they opened their doors to one visitor per resident this morning, those providers were also quick to urge caution because Covid-19 remains a risk.
Provider organisation The Independent Care Group (ICG) said today was a historic day as one designated visitor, tested and wearing personal protective equipment was allowed in to see their relative.
ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “Today is a special day. Residents and relatives have been apart for too long and it has been very damaging for both sides not to have vital human contact.
“It is lovely to see them reunited and to know that more and more people are going to see their loved ones properly for the first time in weeks and months.
“But we must also be cautious and careful as we reintroduce visiting. We have worked closely with North Yorkshire County Council in preparing for the visits and we are all following their guidance.
“The message to get across is one of taking extra care, adhering to the rules – visitor testing, full PPE, hand holding only – and keeping everyone as safe as possible.
“We also respect those homes who have decided not to reintroduce visiting – for whatever reason. It has to be an individual choice, based on circumstances.
“Covid-19 hasn’t gone away and we are caring for the most vulnerable and most susceptible to it. Care and nursing homes have lost more than 30,000 people in the past year, each of them a treasured loved one – a wife, a husband, a mother or father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle or friend.”