[WATCH] COVID-19: Homes for the elderly to allow controlled, limited visits by relatives

Elderly people living in homes will be able to receive visits from relatives as from Monday • Visits will have to be booked, will last 15 minutes and contact will happen behind Perspex

Elderly people living in care homes will be able to receive visitors from Monday as government announces plans for controlled visits
Elderly people living in care homes will be able to receive visitors from Monday as government announces plans for controlled visits

Elderly people living in homes will be able to start receiving controlled and limited visits from relatives as from Monday, government has announced.

The decision forms part of a relaxation of measures imposed more than two months ago to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Parliamentary Secretary for the Elderly Silvio Parnis said homes will have “visiting points” where relatives will be able to meet the elderly.

Meetings will not last more than 15 minutes and a Perspex barrier will divide the elderly persons from their relatives.

Parnis said, the visits will have to be booked at least two days ahead with the management of the home and a maximum of four people only will be allowed to visit at one go.

Visitors will have to wear masks at all times and have their temperature taken before entering the building.

Arrangements have also been made for bed-ridden people to have visits.

Parnis said the relaxation measures were agreed with the health authorities. He urged the elderly and their relatives to adhere to the mitigation measures.

Social Solidarity Minister Michael Falzon said restrictions could be re-introduced if the health authorities give such advice.

Visits to care homes were stopped in March, soon after the coronavirus pandemic hit Malta. The measure helped limit the risk of virus spread among elderly people, considered to be among the more vulnerable groups.

The decision to lift the restrictions in a controlled manner was announced on the same day that a number of outlets such as restaurants and hairdressers could reopen for business.

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