Age Scotland has welcomed Covid-19 visiting restrictions in care homes being eased
A charity has welcomed the news that restrictions around visiting care homes have been relaxed.
Indoor visits will no longer be limited to 30 minutes, and can now last up to four hours.
Visitors will be allowed to hold hands with residents as long as they stick to rules to stop the infection spreading.
And up to six visitors from two households, including children, will be able to attend outdoor visits which can last up to one hour. However visits in Glasgow, West and East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire, and North and South Lanarkshire will still be restricted due to high case numbers in the area.
Brian Sloan, chief executive of Age Scotland, has welcomed the news.
He said: “This has been a long time coming but it will nonetheless will be a huge boost for care home residents and their families, who have really struggled with the lack of contact since March.
"Family members can at long last visit their loved ones in care homes for up to four hours, indoors and, where it safe to do so, hold their hand for the first time in almost seven months. The importance and benefits of this cannot be underestimated.
“This is something that care home residents and their families have rightly been crying out for as they grew increasingly concerned about the negative impact it was having on their health and well-being. Their wait has been excruciating.
“We have heard from many families who have been seriously alarmed by the decline in the health of their loved one during lockdown, in part because of enforced isolation to avoid the spread of coronavirus. We have been making the case to the Scottish Government that every effort must be made to resume indoor visiting as the ongoing risk to the person’s health by not doing so is substantial.
“It is essential that increased visits to care homes are now available to everyone wherever possible. With PPE and other protective measures in place, older people in care homes will be able to reconnect with their relatives and feel part of their family again.”