Advice for visitors to aged care facilities

All staff and visitors at aged care facilities must have had a 2020 influenza (flu) vaccination. Exceptions to this rule are outlined on the Advice for staff and operators of aged care facilities page.

People who have been to a geographical area of risk should not visit or work in high-risk settings, including aged care facilities and hospitals, for a period of 14 days after leaving these area. This advice extends to staff, volunteers and visitors to high-risk settings. For more information, visit the Chief Health Officer alerts page.

Residents can have no more than two people visiting at any one time.

An outbreak of any virus in an aged care facility can have serious consequences, as older people in our community are more vulnerable to COVID-19. To protect them, the National Cabinet accepted the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee advice to restrict visitation in all aged care facilities.

While the Public Health Emergency is in place in the ACT, the only people permitted at a residential aged care facility in the ACT are:

  • A current or prospective resident of the facility.
  • an employee or contractor of the residential aged care facility.
  • the person's presence at the premises is for the purposes of providing:
    • goods or services that are necessary for the effective operation of the residential aged care facility.
    • health, medical or pharmaceutical goods or services to a resident of the residential aged care facility.
    • care and support to a resident of the residential aged care facility.
    • end of life support for a resident of the residential aged care facility.
    • emergency management or law enforcement.

This means that you can visit your family member or close friend in an aged care facility for the purposes of providing care and support. You are not limited in the number of hours you can spend with your relative or friend.

However, you cannot visit aged care facilities if you:

  • have returned from overseas in the last 14 days.
  • have been in a geographical area of risk in the last 14 days.
  • have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
  • have a temperature higher than 37.5 degrees or history of fever (e.g. night sweats or chills).
  • symptoms of a respiratory infection such as a cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, loss of smell or loss of taste.

Visitors are encouraged to remember the following COVID-safe behaviours:

  • Follow the rules put in place by the aged care facility.
  • Keep your visit to one area: a resident’s room, outdoors, or a designated visitors’ area.
  • Keep out of communal areas where risk of transmission is greater.
  • Maintain physical distance of 1.5 meters wherever possible.
  • Practise good hand and respiratory hand hygiene.

Children of all ages can visit a residential aged care facility. They must always be supervised to ensure they follow physical distancing and hygiene measures.

Children must have had the 2020 influenza (flu) vaccine and must adhere to restrictions on visitor numbers. Babies under 6 months are exempt from the requirement for influenza (flu) vaccination.

School or childcare groups cannot visit residential aged care facilities.

If you can’t visit your family and friends in a residential aged care facility, it’s important to keep in touch. Make phone or video calls, send postcards, photos or artwork, or film short videos to share.

Care and support visits

The following people can attend a residential aged care facility for a care and support visit.

Visits are permitted if an alternative is not available online, via telehealth or on a virtual basis.

Examples of services include

  • A solicitor
  • Divisional therapist
  • Hairdressing services - these services should be conducted in the resident’s room, outdoors, or in a specific area designated by the residential aged care facility, rather than communal areas.

Visitors will need to comply with restrictions, including:

  • the requirement to have an influenza vaccination
  • no more than two visitors per resident at any one time
  • visitors cannot stay longer than two hours.
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Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

Last Updated: December 23 2020