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Matt Hancock has announced that the long period of self-isolation in care homes is coming to an end very soon. The Health Secretary explained “people are yearning to see their loved ones” and said announcements will be made in the “next few days”. He hinted that indoor visits would be within the allowed restrictions.
Speaking to ITV News, Mr Hancock said: “We’ve been very very careful to ensure that visitors don’t bring coronavirus back into a care home but in the next few days we will be setting out how COVID secure visiting can happen in care homes.
“How we can have more visits of loved ones in a way that is very careful and in a way that keeps care homes safe.
“There’ll be more details soon but I think that people are yearning to see their loved ones and the residents of care homes get so much from visitors.
“It’s been a very, very long period and that period where there hasn’t been any visiting to care homes, that’s coming to an end very soon.”
The Health Secretary added: “I very much hope that in the next few days we’ll be able to make this change.
“I hope you understand we’ve been very careful about it and we’ve got to get it right.
“We’ve got to make sure it works for each local area but I hope we can make that change very soon.”
Mr Hancock went on to say a second wave of coronavirus isn’t inevitable providing the public follow the social distancing rules.
The Health Secretary told MPs that as there are signs that the virus spreads more easily in colder temperatures and at that time of year many will spend more time indoors, people “must remain vigilant”.
Mr Hancock also confirmed that he will look again at the guidance for whether the public should wear face masks in supermarkets and retail shops.
His comments come as Downing Street said advice on face coverings was being kept under review.
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The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “It’s something that we continue to look at and whenever new evidence is published or made available then we of course consider it.”
Asked why ministers have not been seen wearing face coverings, the spokesman said the Health Secretary Matt Hancock had been pictured wearing a covering.
“Were the Prime Minister to be in a position where a face covering were advised then he would do the same.”
The spokesman said British Transport Police have been giving reminders and advice to the public about wearing face coverings on public transport.
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