CARE home residents will be able to leave their home for low-risk trips without having to self-isolate for 14 days afterwards, the government says reports the BBC.
The rules will be relaxed in England from Tuesday, allowing for walks or garden visits without self-isolation.
The government says a fall in Covid cases means it is “much safer” for care home residents to go outside.
The charity John’s Campaign says it is a “chink of light” for residents and their families.
But co-founder Julia Jones said she wanted to see the full guidance before making a decision about the charity’s threat of legal action against the government’s 14-day self-isolation requirement.
“I still struggle to see what legal right the government thinks it has for preventing people with full mental capacity walking out of their homes the same as any other member of the population,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
Under the changes in England, residents on trips out must be accompanied by either a member of staff or one of their two nominated visitors and they must follow social distancing throughout.
They cannot meet in groups or go indoors, except for the use of toilets, and public transport should be avoided where possible.
An exemption is in place for those who wish to vote in person in the local elections on 6 May, the government says.
Only trips deemed “low risk” are exempt from the self-isolation rule, so this does not include activities such as overnight visits.
The Department of Health and Social Care said updated guidance would be published in due course.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “pleased” residents can “now leave their homes to reunite with their loved ones outdoors”.
“With the data continuing to head in the right direction and as restrictions ease, it is my priority to keep increasing visits for residents in the coming weeks in a safe and controlled way,” he said.