Ontario group home residents can now leave for day, overnight trips

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TORONTO — Ontario is allowing residents in group homes to leave for short absences and overnight stays.

The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services says the resumption of outings is important to maintain the social and emotional well-being of people living in congregate settings.

The easement of the rules is similar to those released last week for residents of long-term care homes.

The ministry says residents who want to visit friends or family will be screened for COVID-19 exposure when they return, follow proper hand hygiene while gone and wear face masks when inside or when within two metres of others.

The province says those leaving for an overnight stay will have enhanced precautions in place for 14 days upon return.

The ministry says the new rules came into effect on Friday.