A Harrogate care home resident has spoken of his relief at today’s relaxation in restrictions but said more needs to be done to address inequalities facing disabled people.
Government guidelines now permit care home residents to see a family member or friend outdoors without having to isolate for 14 days.
But they are still unable to meet in groups of up to six, as non-care home residents can.
Nick Moxon, 32, who has cerebral palsy and is a resident at Disability Action Yorkshire‘s care home on Claro Road, spoke out when previous guidance said residents must isolate for 14 days if they went outdoors for non-emergency purposes.
He said today he was pleased about today’s change but said more needed to be done.
Mr Moxon described himself as an “independent adult with mental capacity” and questioned why he was subject to restrictions that do not apply to others.
“We are still being treated poorly. If people feel comfortable meeting six people outdoors they should be able to, it’s freedom of choice.
“The government think we are stupid but we aren’t. I want to see change on a national level. It’s about time we were treated the same.”
Care home residents have faced 14 months of isolation and the new guidance states they must be with a care worker or a nominated visitor if they leave their homes.
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Residents still can’t meet in groups, and can only go indoors for the use of toilets, or to cast a vote in the upcoming local elections.
Jackie Snape, chief executive of Disability Action Yorkshire, the Rt Revd Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, Bishop of Ripon, and Richard Webb, director of health and adult services at North Yorkshire County Council have all criticised the guidance.