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Update to Visiting Guidance from 7 May 2021

5th May 2021

Updated regional visiting guidance - May 2021

Health Minister Robin Swann announced changes to the visiting arrangements for all care settings from Friday 7 May. The Department of Health has updated regional visiting guidance to reflect the decision to revert the Regional Alert Position to Level 3.

During this COVID-19 pandemic, normal visiting arrangements in all our healthcare settings are subject to significant restrictions as outlined in the Regional Principles for Visiting guidance.

The restriction of visitors has been a key strategic component of managing the pandemic and was introduced to protect patients, their families and staff by reducing the risk of infection

Since rates of transmission, other related factors and consequent risk levels may vary in a particular geographical area or facility, there will be times when more locally focussed visiting guidance may need to be reviewed.

To help us to continue to provide a safe environment for our patients and staff, we are asking you to continue to book an appointment for visiting by contacting the Ward Sister

  • Virtual visiting remains available as this reduces the risk of spread of COVID-19.
  • All people visiting / attending Health and Social Care settings will be required to wear face coverings (exceptions apply).
  • Visiting and visitor numbers is dependent on the care environment.
  • Patient / residents can nominate a maximum of two people to visit.
  • Following a risk assessment at ward level, one of these two people will be permitted one daily visit throughout the patient’s stay in hospital. If the nominated people are not from the same household the visits can take place separately
  • A chosen birth partner will be facilitated to accompany the pregnant woman to any pregnancy related appointments and ultrasound scans. This will also include induction, labour and up to three hours after birth.
  • Two persons can accompany any child admitted to Childrens / Neonatal at all times for the duration of the stay.
  • To ensure compliance with social distancing visitors should continue to refrain from gathering in public spaces, outside ward area or canteens within the Trust.
  • Visiting may be managed through a booking system to ensure that the number of visitors on the premises at any one time can be controlled, in advance of any return to a normal “visiting hours” approach; this will include determining the duration of each of the visits
  • Special local provision can be made for end of life care.

Visiting guidance will be reviewed as risk levels change.

Additional detailed info is available here.

Links to Department of Health guidance: