NURSING HOME visits will recommence this month, with residents allowed two visits per week.
The roll-out of the vaccine has seen some of the most vulnerable people, as well as many front-line workers, protected against the Covid-19 virus, and this has allowed restrictions on visitations to be eased.
Nursing homes suffered serious, tragic outbreaks of Covid in January 2021, with a high number of people losing their lives; this easing of restrictions where the facility has a high level of vaccinations will be a relief to both the resident and their worried families.
Before, guidance allowed for one visit every two weeks, and provided for visitations on critical compassionate grounds; from March 22 residents of long-term residential care facilities can receive two visitors per week.
There is also no time limit on these visitations, whereas before visits were recommended to last under an hour, RTÉ News reports.
Minister for Older People Mary Butler said nursing homes and other long-term residential care facilities should begin making arrangements now in order to facilitate these new visitation guidelines.
Visitors must book appointments in advance, PPE will be required, and any resident receiving a visitor must be free of Covid-19 for at least 28 days.
Even if there is an outbreak of Covid-19 in a nursing home, staff at these homes will still try to facilitate at least one visit every two weeks.
The ban on nursing home visits has undoubtedly been one of the toughest for people whose loved ones reside in such facilities; for those who were unable to visit their parents of grandparents for the bulk of the last year, this announcement will be a welcome one indeed.