COVID: Personal visits to hospitals, homes regardless of vaccination status allowed

A healthcare worker is pictured at a swabbing station during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Singapore January 25, 2021. REUTERS/Edgar Su
A healthcare COVID-19 worker in Singapore. (Reuter file photo)

SINGAPORE — In-person visits to hospitals and residential care homes will be allowed for all individuals regardless of vaccination status from Tuesday (26 April).

The Ministry of Health (MOH) on Monday said there will also be adjustments to the safe management measures (SMMs) for in-person visits to hospitals and homes, as Singapore exits DORSCON Orange for Yellow on Tuesday.

"As hospitals and homes are settings with vulnerable individuals and there is a need to protect them from infection, hospitals and homes may continue to put in place certain SMMs such as pre-registration of visitors for patients in hospitals, and to allow only two visitors at the bedside each time to avoid crowding in the wards or homes," it added.

All visitors are encouraged to administer a COVID-19 self-test prior to their visits at the hospital or home and should not visit patients if they are feeling unwell.

All visitors must also don face masks with good filtration capability at all times, including surgical masks and reusable masks that are made of two layers of fabric.

They are also reminded not to eat or drink in the hospital wards or residential areas of the homes, or use the toilets designated for patients or residents, as well as avoid sitting on their beds.

Visits to homes will be capped at one hour to allow all families the opportunity to visit their loved ones, said the MOH, adding that visitors should continue to schedule such visits ahead of time.

"We also seek the understanding of visitors that visits may have to be suspended if a home is managing active COVID-19 cases. Next-of-kin of residents may approach the home for further details," the ministry said.

The MOH noted that hospitals in Singapore are still seeing a higher than usual non-COVID workload.

"We seek the public’s continued cooperation to comply with the measures and remain socially responsible to keep patients or residents safe even as we take strides towards normalcy," it added.

Personal visits to hospital wards and residential care homes had resumed from 4 April, following a months-long suspension due to the Omicron wave in Singapore.

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