The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021 have now been approved by both House of Parliament and will come into force on 11 November 2021. The regulations effectively require staff working in registered care homes in England to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they’re medically exempt.
The regulations provide that the care home must secure that people do not enter the care home premises (excluding any surrounding grounds) unless they fall into one of the specified exceptions. Those exceptions include that:
- they’re a resident of the care home
- they’ve provided evidence of their full COVID-19 vaccination status, or evidence that for clinical reasons they cannot be vaccinated
- it’s reasonably necessary for them to provide emergency assistance in the premises, or urgent maintenance assistance with respect to the premises, e.g. an emergency plumber
- they’re attending the premises in the execution of their duties as a member of the emergency services
- they’re a friend or relative of the resident, or they’re visiting a resident who it’s believed is dying
- it’s reasonably necessary for them to provide comfort or support to a resident in relation to their bereavement following the death of a friend or relative
- they’re under the age of 18.
The regulations are to be reviewed by the government, and a report published, within one year after the date on which they come into force and within every year after that.