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The Telegraph

Care home residents ‘barred’ from voting in local elections because of Covid rules

Care home residents are “effectively barred” from voting in person in the elections by guidance that requires them to self-isolate for 14 days after leaving the home, a care group has said. Guidance from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) states this is to ensure that residents who may become unknowingly infected do not then pass coronavirus to other residents and staff. But it states: “We recognise that in practice, this is likely to mean that many residents will not wish to make a visit out of the home.” The National Care Forum said it is a “national scandal” that residents’ access to the voting booth on May 6 will be restricted. This group of people will be feeling that their voices and opinions are “less valid and less valuable than the rest of the population” said the membership body, which represents not-for-profit providers. Chief executive Vic Rayner said: “The whole experience of voting for the majority of people living in care homes will have been in person, often for many years at the same polling station, going through the motions in a way that is both familiar and a connection to wider society. Getting the vote is a rite of passage. “Losing the right to vote in person is a national scandal.” Care home residents will be able to register for a postal vote or for a proxy to vote on their behalf.