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Call the Aged Care Advocacy Line, our national team of advocates is available Monday to Friday 8am–8pm and Saturday 10am-4pm 

Home Information COVID-19 and visitor access

COVID-19 and visitor access

People living in residential aged care should have access to one visitor at all times, even during lockdowns. 

Older people have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 lockdowns. It’s important to balance the risk of infection with the mental, physical and nutritional impact of extended periods of isolation. 

Visitor access in residential aged care

According to the revised Industry Code for Visiting in Aged Care Homes (see below), restrictions should only occur: 

  • when a COVID-19 outbreak occurs in your aged care home 
  • when there are high levels of COVID-19 in your local community (directed by state or territory government officials). 

If restrictions are in place, an essential visitor should still be allowed to visit you. This includes lockdowns. 

Essential visitors include

Partners in care 
This is a person who frequently visits a resident in aged care to provide companionship and routine care, such as support with meals. A partner in care may be a family member, friend or representative. For further information read the partnerships in care  factsheet  from the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. 

Named visitors
If you don’t have a partner in care, you may nominate one person to be a named visitor. A named visitor can include a family member, friend, volunteer or power of attorney.  

End of life 
Anyone should be able to visit residents at or approaching the end of life. These visits should not be time limited and may include out-of-hours visiting. 

Chat with us on 1800 700 600 if you have issues around receiving visitors in your aged care home. 

Your right to receive visitors - information sheet

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission may take regulatory action where essential visitor access is not adequately supported. 

Sector Code

The updated Sector Code for Visiting in Aged Care Homes below (version 7.2 released 26 June 2023), aims to create a nationally consistent approach that enables residents to receive visitors while minimising the risk of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases. The revised code, developed by 12 aged care consumer and provider organisations including the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN), follows extensive consultation with key stakeholders. 

COVID-19 information

National COVID-19 Community Protection Framework outlines public health measures states and territories might put in place to manage COVID-19.

Visit the Department of Health and Aged Care website for the latest information and advice on COVID-19 for carers and people who access residential or home care.