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NPHET recommendation to assess scope for easing of visitor restrictions welcomed by NHI

Friday February 19, 2021

NPHET should look at antigen testing for nursing home visitors

19th February 2021: Nursing Homes Ireland today welcomes confirmation by the Department of Health of a recommendation by NPHET yesterday that resuming visiting at nursing homes is to be considered.  The Department has confirmed that the HSE Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control (AMRIC) Division is to examine the scope surrounding visitor restrictions for nursing homes, bringing into its consideration the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine, the level of disease in the community, and international and national evidence.

Tadhg Daly, NHI CEO states: “Nursing homes are extremely cognisant of the great upset the necessary restrictions to visitations have caused for residents and their relatives the past year. There is real hope the rollout of the vaccination along with continued strict infection protocols may provide scope for the easing of such. We have called on NPHET to consider all options to assess a phased return to in-person visiting and to bring recommendations to Government in this regard. We welcome today’s confirmation that NPHET has taken NHI representations on board. We support this proactive step to scope the prospect to move beyond current restrictions and note the importance for decisions in such regard to be evidence-based. We reiterate our call for antigen testing to be explored by NPHET as part of a suite of public health measures to assess easing of visitor restrictions in nursing homes.”

NHI CEO Tadhg Daly is available for further interview. Interviews will be facilitated by Michael McGlynn, NHI Communications & Research Executive who can be contacted at 0879082970.