Care homes will only be allowed to have three visitors and one essential care worker per resident, according to updated government guidance.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has updated its guidance to support the sector amid the spread of the Omicron variant.

The DHSC said the move was “in order to balance the current Covid-19 risk and the need to keep people safe in line with clinical advice”.

A fully vaccinated resident that wants to visit friends and family outside the care home will need to take a lateral flow test on alternate days for two weeks after each outing.

Daily Echo: Care home rules are set to change. Credit: PACare home rules are set to change. Credit: PA

While non-vaccinated residents will need to isolate following a visit outside the home.

Under the new guidance, staff testing will also be increased from two lateral flow tests per week to three.

The lateral flow tests will need to be taken alongside a weekly PCR test.

The Government is expanding its specialist vaccination teams to ensure that all care home residents, staff, housebound people and their caregivers, are offered a booster jab.

More than 70 percent of older adults who are care home residents have already received a booster jab, according to the DHSC.

Care homes will be able to request follow-up booster visits from vaccination teams, and GPs will also receive higher home visit payments.

Care homes would also benefit from a £300 million fund, the Government has said. 

The fund can be used towards bonuses, bringing forward pay rises, funding overtime as well as staff recruitment until the end of March 2022.

Daily Echo: Sajid Javid. Credit: PASajid Javid. Credit: PA

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Throughout the pandemic we have done everything we can to protect the adult social care sector, and the emergence of the Omicron variant means this is more important than ever.

“This new funding will support our incredible workforce by recruiting new staff and rewarding those who have done so much during this pandemic.

“Boosting the booster rollout in social care and updating the visiting guidance will help keep the most vulnerable people in our society safe from the virus this winter.”