Visits to nursing homes and residential facilities will be allowed from 15 June, with Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan saying the date would allow facilities to prepare based on guidance from the Department of Health.
That guidance has been published on the Health Protection Surveillance Centre's website this evening.
The HSPC advises that indoor visits to facilities with no ongoing Covid-19 outbreak will be permissible in certain circumstances:
- Each resident can have a maximum of two named visitors. Only one of those visitors can be present at any one time and visits should be arranged in advance with the facility.
- Visits are limited to less than 30 minutes, with each visitor allowed a maximum of one visit per week.
- Visitors are required to wear a surgical mask if they are not able to maintain social distancing during the visit.
- Children under 16 are not permitted to visit.
- The resident's right to decline a visitor shall be respected.
The document advises that during an ongoing outbreak of Covid-19, family and friends should be advised that all but essential visiting (for example end of life) is suspended in the interest of protecting residents, visitors and staff.
In those cases it advises that:
- Family and friends should be aware of the limited circumstances in which visiting is permitted.
- They should be informed that such essential visits are permitted only when arranged in advance with the facility's Person in Charge/ Registered Provider.
- They should be made aware of symptom and temperature-checking, determination of previous known exposure to COVID -19, and use of correct hand-hygiene techniques.
- Visitors should be asked if they have had COVID- 19 or had close contact with a person with COVID / suspected COVID symptoms.
- Visitors are advised of the requirement for PPE to be worn as part of the visit and ensure appropriate assistance and guidance in relation to donning and doffing is given with same. Appropriate PPE will be provided by the facility.
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