FAMILY members MIGHT be allowed to visit their dying relatives in Daisy Hill or Craigavon Area Hospital as new more stringent hospital visiting regulations come into force today (Friday, 15 January).
The Department of Health has published revised guidance on visiting hospitals.
This is in response to the levels of Covid-19 transmissions across the country, the four UK Chief Medical Officers recommended that we now move into alert level 5.
It was revealed yesterday that the so-called 'R rate', which denotes the rate of infection from those who have tested positive for Covid-19, had dropped to below 1.
Visiting to hospices and care homes is still allowed.
This impacts on the implementation of the visiting guidance in all care settings across Northern Ireland.
No face-to-face visiting to general medical wards will be permitted – however, following a risk assessment and ensuring a “Covid-secure” environment, end of life visiting ONLY may be considered.
The Department of Health stated that “guidance will be kept under constant review and revised as appropriate”.
A “Covid-secure” environment is defined as one where a social distance of two metres is maintained when possible, optimal hand hygiene and personal hygiene measures are employed, there is good ventilation in the room, PPE is used when required and face coverings are worn.