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Compulsory vaccinations in care homes

30 July 2021

The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021 were made on 22 July 2021 and will come into force on 11 November 2021. From that date, it will be a legal requirement to restrict access to care home premises to those who have not received a full dose of an authorised covid vaccination, unless one of the limited exemptions apply. Our previous legal update sets out more information about who will not require vaccinations. The Regulations mirror the proposed exemptions but also include those who are visiting a service user who is dying, and those who are visiting a service user to provide comfort or support in the event of a bereavement.

The 16-week lead-in time is intended to allow those who work within care homes time to complete the required course of covid vaccinations (if they have not already done so), before the Regulations come into force.

Care homes will need to take steps to assess the impact of these Regulations on their workforce and encourage any workers who are currently unvaccinated (or only partially vaccinated) and who are not clinically exempt, to complete the vaccination course before 11 November. Where agency workers or external service providers are used, care homes will need to make sure that they have seen the vaccination evidence (or proof of clinical exemption) of those agency workers/service providers as well as their own staff.

Further practical steps to consider in the run up to these Regulations coming into force can be found in our legal update.

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