Visiting to nursing homes is set to become normal from next week. The Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) has published new guidelines regarding visiting, where strict guidelines were in place due to the surge in Covid cases recently.
As most of the restriction are now eased, HSPC advices new visiting guidelines which will come in to effect from February 8.
Meanwhile the HSPC also reminds the need to remain cautious as the country continue to deal with the evolving risks associated with COVID-19. There were reports that 40% of the care homes have Covid outbreaks, but most of the affected people are doing well.
The guidance will be kept under review as new evidence and data emerges.
The guidance published this week specifically provides for:
- the minimum level of visiting should normally be daily visits by up to 2 people at one time
- the introduction of a “nominated support person”, for each resident who should normally have regular and unrestricted visiting access
- there will no longer be a need for visitors to show immunity through vaccination or previous infection
Welcoming the new guidance, Minister Butler said: “I am very pleased to be able to announce this new guidance. It clearly reflects the essential role visiting plays in supporting the rights of people living in nursing homes to maintain meaningful relationships with those who are important to them.
“I also acknowledge the introduction of a nominated support person, which recognises and further supports the mental health and wellbeing needs of residents and promotes social connection.”