CHILDREN are now allowed to visit their grandparents in nursing homes across the country after new guidelines were laid out by the Public Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC).
Despite the allowance, kids won't be allowed to hug anyone during their visit - in order to prevent any potential spread of Covid-19.
While there is no longer any restriction on the number of people who are permitted to visit, relatives will only be able to stay for an hour at a time - though the HSPC admits that this rule can be flexible in "exceptional circumstances".
"The registered provider/person in charge has a responsibility to ensure that the autonomy of residents and the right to have visitors is balanced with the need to ensure that visitations do not compromise overall resident care," the HSPC guidelines advise.
Although some nursing homes in Ireland allowed visitors from June 15, children weren't allowed to enter.
Care homes have been closed since March due to the pandemic and in that time many across the country have seen clusters of coronavirus develop.
Mary Butler, Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, said she welcomed the new changes, acknowledging that these had been trying times for people in nursing homes, as well as their relatives.
"I've listened to the views of many families and I recognise that the impact of Covid-19 on society in general and especially those living in nursing homes has been considerable," she said.
"The introduction of physical distancing, isolation and restricted contact with family and loved ones has changed the usual dynamic of social interaction.
"I am confident that nursing homes are preparing the way to allow for visiting in a safe way."