The Malta Independent 19 June 2021, Saturday

Elderly home measures relaxed: Longer, more frequent visits allowed from next Monday

Jake Aquilina Tuesday, 11 May 2021, 17:31 Last update: about 2 months ago

The third phase of the relaxation of Covid-19 measures in elderly care homes has been announced and will come into effect on Monday 17 May.

Under the new measures, two people from the same household will be allowed to visit elderly relatives for 25 minutes, three times a week, Minister for the Elderly and Active Ageing Michael Farrugia announced on Tuesday.

This means that six visitors per week are allowed, and this applies to all elderly care homes and St. Vincent de Paul.

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The elderly were one of the demographics who suffered most during the pandemic, with those residing in elderly care homes being restricted to their homes with barely any visits allowed for the past months, along with the thoughts of being infected with a deadly virus.

The new measures are a positive step forward, as they will be allowed to have more visitors for a longer period of time.

Minister Farrugia said that the results of the first and second relaxation of measures were very encouraging, and so it can be deemed safe to move onto the third phase.

“I have to emphasise that the restrictions are being relaxed cautiously just in case something unexpected happens,” he said.

When it comes to the elderly residing in care homes and in St Vincent de Paul who suffer from dementia, the minister said that these will be allowed 15-minute visits every day, with each time two persons from the same household can go. This means that 14 people per week can go there.

The Minister reiterated that the wearing of masks, social distancing, and the rest of the measures not mentioned in the relaxation still apply as previously.

The Minister also announced that further relaxation of measures will, if the Covid-19 situation remains stable, come into effect on the 24th of May, when day centres will open. These will be able to hold four elderly residents and two members of staff together.

Furthermore, outings will be introduced for these residents through a bubble system, where they will all be from the same household.

“We are planning to hold cultural visits and we will get guides, so it would serve as a cultural outing for them,” Farrugia said.

 

 

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