Will vaccinations become mandatory for care home workers?

Yes, subject to certain exemptions, vaccination will become mandatory for care home staff, volunteers, and anyone else entering the care home for work. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has published its response to the government consultation on making Covid-19 vaccination a condition of deployment for workers in care homes in England.

The mandatory vaccination requirement will apply to all care homes in England registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), not just those with residents over the age of 65. It will apply to everyone who enters a care home building, not just care home staff and volunteers. It will also apply to other health professionals, hairdressers, beauticians, tradespeople and CQC inspectors.

Exemptions would apply to:

  • Residents.
  • Their friends and family.
  • Anyone who is medically exempt.
  • Anyone assisting with an emergency or carrying out urgent maintenance work.
  • Anyone working only in the external grounds.
  • Anyone under the age of 18.

The move will be enforced with new legislation from October – subject to parliamentary approval and a subsequent 16-week grace period.

Those covered by the new rules will need to produce evidence of having had a complete course of an authorised Covid-19 vaccine or evidence that they are exempt from vaccination.

This would mean care home providers could only use those staff members who have received the Covid-19 vaccination (or those with a legitimate medical exemption) in line with government guidance.