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Health Minister contacts HSE to make clear that window visits in nursing homes are not suspended under Level 3

Concerns had been raised that nursing homes in Dublin were suspending window visits.

(File Photo) Window visit at nursing home during Covid restrictions.
(File Photo) Window visit at nursing home during Covid restrictions.
Image: PA

HEALTH MINISTER STEPHEN Donnelly has contacted the HSE, HIQA and Nursing Homes Ireland to make clear that window visits in nursing homes are not to be suspended under Level 3 of the government’s plan.

Currently, Dublin is under Level 3 restrictions while the rest of the country are under Level 2. 

Concerns have been raised by callers on RTÉ’s Liveline programme this week about nursing homes stopping window visits under the Level 3 restrictions.

“It’s so annoying, it’s so frustrating, someone needs to tell me why I can’t stand at a window and see my father… it’s cruel,” said Catherine Delaney on the radio programme.

TheJournal.ie understands that the health minister has now contacted the relevant authorities to ensure they understand that there is no ban on window visits.

While nursing homes are understood to have taken the action to be cautious, the minister said it is an extremely difficult time for many families, and we need to be mindful of the things that do give people comfort during this time.

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“For many, these window visits are a source of comfort during an incredibly difficult period. They provide a way to stay connected with loved ones and friends. This pandemic is creating huge challenges, but these visits are of huge importance,” he said.

While Level 3 does recommend that visits be suspended, aside from critical and compassionate circumstances, however, the minister has clarified that NPHET made no recommendation to suspend window visits.

Under Level 2,  nursing home visits remain open, though with enhanced protective measures.

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