'IT'S been very emotional.'

Care homes in Somerset are allowing visitors for the first time in over four months, with residents enjoying emotional reunions with their families.

Country Court runs four homes in the county - Priory Court Care & Nursing Home in Burnham-on-sea, Summer Lane Care & Nursing Home in Weston-super-mare, Stanton Court Care & Nursing Home in Stanton Drew and The Laurels Care Home in Draycott near Cheddar.

“We are extremely pleased to be able to open our doors again, families are as much a part of our home as our residents," said Vimal Samuel, home manager at Priory Court and Summer Lane Care & Nursing Homes.

“It’s been very emotional to see residents’ faces light up as they see family members after so long.

"We know how important it is for our residents to see loved ones and this is a real boost for everyone."

One relative, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “We felt very lucky to be able to visit, thank you to all staff for looking after the residents and making everything safe for them during these last few months.” 

Country Court, who had already put comprehensive guidelines for families in place before the government guidelines were announced, are asking families to comply with stringent health and safety measures to keep people safe.

Each care home has put together comprehensive information for visitors to help them understand the new procedures and feel at ease when they visit.

All visitors will be required to wear a face masks for garden visits and full PPE for indoor visits, every visitor is required to pass through a thermal imaging machine to check their temperature on arrival.

Operations director, Helen Richmond, added: “All Country Court Care and Nursing Homes remain Covid-19 free at this time and all of the measures we have implemented for these visits are designed to keep it that way. 

 "This means visits will be different from before, but we are sure that people will understand why.

"These visits have been able to happen because of the hard work of all our homes to keep residents safe and it has been amazing to see how much it means to everyone."