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Covid-19 Vaccinations Compulsory in Care Homes

Posted On: [02/08/2021]

The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021 (the Regulations) come into force on 11 November 2021. The purpose of the Regulations is to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in care homes, in order to protect care home residents, who are vulnerable to COVID-19. It applies in England only and will be reviewed after one year of coming into force.

To achieve this, the Regulations provide that anyone working or providing professional services in a care home cannot enter the care home premises unless they provide evidence that they have been vaccinated with a complete course of an authorised vaccine against COVID-19. The only exemption is if the person has provided clinical reasons why they  cannot be vaccinated. The clinical exemption will be clarified in the Code of Practice that will be issued to accompany the Regulations.

 There is a 16-week grace period between the legislation being made and it coming into force on 11 November 2021 to allow care homes to encourage its workers to get vaccinated, warn of the consequences if they do not, and arrange alternative staffing to replace those who refuse. If the care home does not comply the CQC can take regulatory action, for example through the issuing of a warning notice

No one can enter a care home unless they fall into one of the identified exceptions. These are;

  • care home residents [Reg 5(a)]
  • emergency services and urgent premises maintenance (e.g. ambulance, emergency plumber) [Reg 5(c)-(e)
  • friends and relatives of care home residents [Reg 5(f)]
  • you are visiting a dying resident [Reg 5(g)]
  • you are providing comfort or support to a bereaved resident [Reg 5 (h)]
  • children under 18 years of age [Reg 5(i)]

Anyone who does not fall under these categories cannot enter a care home unless they have evidence that;

  • they have completed a course of an approved COVID-19 vaccine; or,
  • for clinical reasons they cannot be vaccinated [Reg 5(b)].