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Coronavirus: Advice for ministers – pastoral visiting

Find the latest information about pastoral visiting to people in their homes and rules around visiting care homes. Please read this guidance to discover more
Ministries Team


22 July 2021: Changes in Section 2 to the introduction to what is allowed in England, and to the arrangements for care home visiting in England.

15 July 2021: Re-write of Sections 2 and 4 to reflect step 4 of the Covid recovery road map in England; Change to Section 3 to reflect the permission for six people to meet indoors and any number outdoors in Wales.

24 June 2021: Change to Section 4 clarifying that double vaccine status and negative lateral flow tests should not change the precautions taken when visiting someone in their home. 

10 June 2021: Change to Section 3 to note that 30 people may meet outdoors including in a private garden, in Wales.

3 June 2021: Removal from Section 3 of the requirement for designated visitors for indoors visits in Wales, where any two people may now visit at the same time.

20 May 2021: Changes in Section 1 reflecting the possibility for pastoral visiting due to the freedom to meet indoors in England from 17 May. Deletion throughout of references to restrictions prior to 17 May.

13 May 2021: Changes in Section 2 to allow up to 5 designated visitors to each care home resident. Changes in Section 3 to allow general pastoral visiting indoors in Wales.

29 April 2021: Change to Section 3 to allow in Wales: up to six people to meet outdoors or in gardens, 2 designated visitors for each care home resident, and no limit on the number who may visit a care home resident outside or in a pod.

15 April 2021: Document restructured. Change to the number of named visitors for care home visiting in England from one to two.

1 April 2021: Change to the number of those who can meet outdoors in Wales from four to six.

18 March 2021: Changes to care home visit arrangements in both England and Wales; Addition of possibility of visiting someone outside or in a private garden in Wales.

10 March 2021: Wording amendments throughout to reflect changes since 8 March in England.

25 February 2021: Changes to Introduction to outline extra permission in England from 8 March for meeting one other person outdoors and for care home visiting indoors; Changes to Introduction to care home visit arrangements in Wales.

6 January 2021: Changes to Introduction to reflect national lockdown in England from 5 January.

20 December 2020: Inclusion of reference to tier 4 in England and ‘alert level 4 in Wales.

1 December 2020: Removal of national lockdown restrictions in England and firebreaker references in Wales. Inclusion in Introduction of information on England’s local restriction tiers.

5 November 2020: Addition at the document’s beginning of lockdown restrictions in England.

22 October 2020: Inclusion in Introduction of information on ‘firebreaker’ restrictions in Wales

19 October 2020: Inclusion of impact of three tiers of Covid-alert areas.

6 July 2020: Changes throughout in light of eased restrictions for people seeing each other in their homes.

24 March 2020: Guidance published

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Links to all our guidance information
Your key legal requirement prior to re-opening is to carry out a risk assessment
Guidance from our Legal Team on various legal and regulatory issues
Amendments to incorporate the move to Step 4 in England from 19 July 2021 and move to Alert Level 1 in Wales from 17 July 2021
Document re-written to reflect removal of legal requirement in England from 19 July and the completion of the move to Alert level 1 in Wales from 17 July
The latest guidance for churches
    Posted: 20/03/2020