Hugging nursing home residents during visits allowed again from Monday
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    Hugging nursing home residents during visits allowed again from Monday

    Credit: Belga

    Physical contact between nursing home residents and visitors, if they belong to the same bubble, is allowed again, according to a new guide for visits to care homes.

    The federal Covid-19 Taskforce developed the new guidelines, which will take effect on Monday 7 September. The measures are “both safe and humane,” and met requests from residents, family members and staff alike, the task force announced.

    The biggest change is that physical contact between residents and visitors belonging to the same bubble is allowed again, and that residents will also be able to go outside, if they respect the measures.

    Additionally, visits will be able to take place in different ways: in a room, in a designated area or in the open air, as long as the rules are respected.

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    If there are no infections, a visit can always take place, including at weekends and in the evenings. If there are infections in the institution, however, restrictions on visiting times are possible.

    Hygiene rules will still have to be observed at all times, and visitors must register when they enter, disinfect their hands and wear a mask.

    Other people can also continue to access the facility, especially if they are providing care such as a pedicure or physiotherapy.

    “We notice fatigue in society in regard to following the measures, but we must not allow this to happen. Residents in nursing homes are and remain a very vulnerable target group,” said Karine Moykens, who chairs the taskforce.

    “We are confident that everyone, from the management to the residents, and from their families to the employees, is willing to contribute constructively to this. That is also necessary, because this is a collective responsibility,” she added.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times