Coronavirus - Covid-19

Abbeyfield is continuing to follow government guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19.

Ensuring residents’ health and wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do at Abbeyfield and we aim to reflect this both in the way we support the houses and homes that we directly manage and in the guidance we provide to our Member Societies.

We are continually monitoring the government and Public Health Bodies for the latest advice about COVID-19, which includes following specific guidance for those in social or community care and residential settings and advice from the National Care Forum

Procedural guidance is regularly reviewed and communicated across the Abbeyfield Family with the aim of keeping residents, volunteers and staff as well informed and as safe as possible.

Below you can find information about how we are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic across Abbeyfield’s centrally managed services in England.

Information for the relatives of our residents

  • Can I visit a resident in a care home?

    Despite the challenge of Omicron, in line with government guidance, residents at our care homes will be supported to have indoor visits from their friends and family (aside from periods of active outbreak where the advice from the local Health Protection Team will be followed. 

    From 15th December, residents will again be asked to nominate Named Visitors (up to three) who may visit them regularly indoors, as well as their appointed Essential Caregiver who will continue to be supported to visit in all circumstances. A resident’s Named Visitors should remain unchanged, within reason.

    Named Visitors will continue to be asked to complete a screening form and return a negative rapid lateral flow (LFD) test result on the same day before every visit. Essential Caregivers will continue to follow the testing arrangements for staff members, which has now increased to three rapid lateral flow tests and a PCR test weekly.

    All indoor visitors should wear a mask, and any other personal protective equipment provided to them, throughout their visit. To ensure safe visiting opportunities for all residents, all visiting arrangements should be agreed with the care home in advance.
    If you have been identified as a ‘close contact’ of a COVID-positive individual, visiting should not take place for 10 days (from the point of contact) to protect your loved one and other residents.

    It is not a condition of personal visits that residents or their visitors are vaccinated. However, the government strongly recommends that residents and visitors receive two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, plus their booster dose and flu vaccine, before undertaking visits.

    Physical contact between residents and their indoor visitors will be supported to help health and wellbeing, as long as infection prevention and control measures are followed, including ventilation, appropriate personal protective equipment, and good hand hygiene. Please observe social distancing from all other residents and members of the staff team.

    Visiting options will depend on the circumstances of the individual home, facilities and surrounding environment so please do contact your home to find out what the options are.

    In the event of an outbreak the care home will cease visiting (except for Essential Caregivers and other essential visits) while awaiting further advice from the local Health Protection Team (HPT).

    If you have any questions about visiting your loved one, please don’t hesitate to contact the Home Manager.

  • Can I take a care home resident on an outing?

    In line with government guidance, Abbeyfield will continue to support residents to undertake visits out of the care home. Residents who are fully vaccinated, or are exempt from vaccination, are not required to isolate after most outings, but should take a lateral flow test every second day for 10 days following a visit out.

    Residents will be required to isolate following an emergency stay in hospital, on return from a visit that has been deemed high-risk following a risk assessment, or if they are not fully vaccinated or medically exempt. Those accompanying the resident on their visit out of the care home will also be asked to complete a screening form and return a negative rapid lateral flow test result on the day of the outing.

    Please discuss any arrangements for visits out with the Home Manager in advance so that the appropriate risk assessment can be completed and arrangements made for the outing.

    In the event of an outbreak the care home will cease visiting (except for Essential Caregivers and other essential visits) while awaiting further advice from the local Health Protection Team (HPT).

  • Can I visit a resident in a supported housing setting?

    Visiting to our supported housing settings will be supported and enabled wherever it is safe to do so. Wherever possible, Abbeyfield housing residents are asked not to have more than two visitors indoors at any one time. This is to reflect the high transmission of COVID-19 at the current time and increased risks associated with communal living arrangements where facilities are shared and the size of the accommodation in traditional Abbeyfield houses.

    Children are able to visit under the close supervision of an adult and we ask that each visiting adult brings only one baby or pre-school age child with them.

    In line with government advice all indoor visitors are strongly advised to participate in our testing and screening processes. If on-site testing is not available at the property, the test can be carried out at a local community testing centre, or at home using a home testing kit.

    Please continue to pre-book all visits, as far as possible. Masks should be worn for indoor visitings.

    We would discourage you from visiting if you have been identified as a ‘close contact’ of a COVID-positive individual for 10 days (from the point of contact) to protect your loved one and other residents.

    Where there is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 within the setting, all but essential visits will stop until further advice is given from the local Health Protection Team.

    If you have any queries please contact the individual house.

  • Can I visit a resident in an independent living setting?

    In our independent living settings, where all accommodation is self-contained and there are no shared facilities, we continue to ask our residents to restrict the number of indoor visitors as far as possible. This is in recognition of the increased risks of our settings, particularly where access is through communal areas. 

    In line with government advice, we continue to ask visitors to undertake a rapid lateral flow test prior to entering the property and to complete a screening form. Masks should be worn for indoor visitings. 

    We would discourage you from visiting if you have been identified as a ‘close contact’ of a COVID-positive individual for 10 days (from the point of contact) to protect your loved one and other residents.

    If you are unsure about anything please speak to the Manager.

  • Does the vaccination programme impact visiting arrangements?

    The current visiting arrangements outlined above continue to apply, regardless of the vaccination status of the resident and/or their visitor. The legal requirement from 11 November 2021 for anyone entering a care home to be fully vaccinated does not apply to residents or their friends and families.

    As outlined in the government’s guidance, vaccination is one of our best defences to combat infection. It significantly reduces the transmission of infection, particularly after 2 doses. The government strongly recommends that residents and visitors receive 2 doses of the vaccine before conducting visits or outings.

  • What measures are you taking to ensure the safety of your residents?

    Our priority continues to be preventing the spread of COVID-19 and maintaining the safety of our residents, their visitors and our staff.

    In light of the advice that older people must be particularly cautious, we continue to are apply the social distancing principle to our houses and homes as much as is feasible to reduce the risk of infection spreading.

    We are taking the same precautions with our staff, and any staff member with confirmed COVID-19 or displaying symptoms will not be allowed to enter our services until they have completed the required self isolation period. We provide regularly updated guidance to all of our employees and have appropriate stocks of PPE to ensure our staff can care for all residents safely and minimise any potential risk of COVID-19 transmission.

    Since the beginning of the pandemic we have introduced more stringent cleaning measures and continue to do so. To help reduce the risk of infection we are supporting residents to wash their hands with soap and water on a more frequent basis and are offering alcohol hand gel throughout the day.

  • My relative is on end of life care; can I visit them?

    If a resident is approaching the end of their life, visiting will always be accommodated. Please speak to the manager who will make arrangements so that you can visit your relative safely.

  • How are you supporting your residents during this difficult time?

    We are continuing to do everything we can to keep life as normal as possible for our residents during the pandemic. Being isolated and unable to see loved ones for weeks on end can have a detrimental effect on both physical and mental health, so it has been more important than ever to support our residents through this difficult time. We have been finding creative ways to provide entertainment and a sense of connection with others such as a pen-pal scheme, activity packs, games, virtual tours and exercise classes. Our dedicated staff team is on-hand to support residents to stay in touch with their loved ones through regular letters, phone-calls and video chats. They are also spending 1:1 time with residents to lower the risk of social isolation.

    We are also grateful for the kindness and generosity of a number of individuals and organisations who have donated over 5,000 books, 500 games, over 60 tablets, DVD players, DVDs, and decks of playing cards. These have helped residents remain mentally stimulated, learn new things, enjoy interacting with each other, and communicate via technology with friends and family.

    We will continue to adapt to the changing situation by trying to source additional items for our residents where needed, and keeping our residents’ physical and mental health at the forefront of all we do.    

  • My relative lives in one of your Member Society houses or homes, does the same guidance apply to them?

    Our Member Societies are independent organisations, subject to the regulations in their country.  However, we are in regular contact with the staff and volunteers who manage these Societies and share with them the guidance we provide to our centrally managed services.

  • I’ve got a question about COVID-19; how do I get in touch?

    If you have any questions about your loved ones please do not hesitate to contact the house or home manager where they reside. Alternatively, if you have any queries regarding our management of COVID-19 you can email

Information about new admissions into our services

  • Are you currently accepting new residents?

    We continue to welcome new residents into our properties. You can view our properties by going to our website homepage and searching for the relevant house or area. Please then contact the relevant manager to see if there is availability.

    In order to ensure the safety of our residents and staff and reduce the risk of the spread of COVID-19 we have had to adapt our process for new admissions in both housing and care services.  Please see below for more information.

  • Viewings

    Following the easing of restrictions viewings can take place on-site although virtual viewings (which may be a pre-recorded video tour or a video call) will continue to be offered where appropriate.

    Please contact the house or home manager to discuss the available options.

    Please note, government regulations from 11 November 2021 require prospective residents and their families who will be visiting care homes to provide evidence of vaccination or medical exemption.

  • Assessments

    We will continue to complete a pre-admission assessment with all new residents.  Under normal circumstances, care homes would arrange to visit the person to assess their needs and preferences before admission. Assessment visits may take place where required with appropriate precautions in place.  Alternatively, the assessment may be completed using post, email or telephone/video calls with the person and other relevant individuals involved. 

  • Moving in to Supported Housing

    All residents will be required to provide a negative COVID-19 rapid test result on the day of admission.

    New residents are not required to self-isolate on admission to our supported housing settings - aside from those being discharged from hospital directly into a supported house following an emergency (unplanned) admission, in line with government guidance. 

    We will be flexible around moving in arrangements. An admission might need to be delayed, for example if the new resident becomes ill with COVID-19 during the moving process or has to self-isolate, or there is a suspected or confirmed case in the house.

  • Moving in to a care home

    Residents moving in to a care home do not need to complete a 14-day self-isolation period if they satisfy the below requirements:

    • they are fully vaccinated, plus two weeks, wherever possible
    • local guidance from the Director of Public Health about community transmission of variants of concern is followed
    • they have had no known contact with a COVID-positive person
    • there are no circumstances at the resident’s home, prior to admission, that would impact on COVID-19 transmission
    • they are willing to complete the required testing regime


    However, in line with government guidance, new residents being discharged from hospital directly to a care home following an admission for emergency (unplanned) care will be required to self-isolate, upon arrival, for 14 days, within their own room.

    Any self-isolating resident will be enabled to receive visits from their Essential Caregiver at all times during the period of self-isolation, provided the Essential Caregiver and the resident are not symptomatic or COVID-19 positive.

  • Moving belongings

    New residents should ensure they have arrangements in place for cleaning, packing, transporting and unpacking their belongings, which minimise the risk of contact transmission of COVID-19 on surfaces. All clothing should be laundered before being brought into the property. Our infection prevention and control measures for visitors will also apply to anyone assisting with the move.

    New residents to our care homes are advised to only bring essential items with them when they move in.

  • Short stay admissions

    We are accepting short stay respite admissions, as long as the resident satisfies the requirements for admissions from the community listed above. Please contact the house or home manager to discuss.

Safely welcoming new residents to Abbeyfield

Watch our short video to find out how we're safely welcoming new residents across the UK.

Your new home with Abbeyfield awaits.

COVID19 Information

Abbeyfield has complied with the government’s guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19 and is COVID-secure. Please click to find out more about our response to the pandemic.

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