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Dublin: 18°C Wednesday 23 June 2021
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Visitor rules for nursing homes are looser from today ahead of Christmas

Residents can received one visit per week with efforts for an extra one at Christmas.

Image: Shutterstock

NEW GUIDELINES FOR NURSING homes and other care facilities come into effect from today, advising operators that residents should be allowed to one visit per week with efforts also to be made to accommodate an extra Christmas visit.

The guidance from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HSPC) was issued last week but begins from today and changes the advice around visits for “critical and compassionate circumstances”. 

Such circumstances go beyond the imminent death of a resident to include; where a resident might be distressed and a visit would help, an important life event such as a family death or a birthday or when a visitor may not be able to visit for months thereafter.

The new guidance outlines that at Levels 3 and 4, nursing homes residents are allowed up to one visit per week. At Level 5, up to one visit every two weeks is permitted. Ireland is currently under Level 3 restrictions. 

It also makes referenced to nursing home operators making “every practical effort” to an accommodate an extra visit for cultural and religious festivals such as the Christmas and New Year period.

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The guidance notes that “in general visits should be arranged in advance” but that the facility may consider flexibility on this on compassionate grounds.

Visitors should generally be limited to two per resident at a time but with flexibility as appropriate

Under the guidance, the advance Covid-19 testing of visitors is not required.

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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