Visiting in Care Settings in Northern Ireland

Date published: 23 September 2020

Last updated: 22 December 2022

Visiting in care settings in Northern Ireland. 



Visiting Arrangements for All Care Settings

The Department's Covid-19 visiting guidance for all care settings here, including hospitals (incl. Maternity), hospices and care homes, is spread over two documents, with bespoke advice provided dependent on the category of care setting involved:

  • ‘Enabling Safer Visiting’ is the guidance on visiting arrangements which apply in hospital and hospice settings here.  It broadly sets out a return to the normal visiting arrangements that were in place prior to COVID-19, while allowing local ward managers to introduce temporary restrictions in some cases to protect the most vulnerable. Any such restrictions would need to be risk-assessed, taking account not only of the risks of infection, but also the potentially detrimental impact of restrictions.
  • 'Visiting With Care – The New Normal' sets out the expected approach to supporting safe and proportionate visiting in care homes. This includes arrangements for the safe management of care home residents receiving visitors, as well as residents being able to visit other households and community facilities, as well as taking part in excursions. This guidance document outlines the expected approach to visiting as we move past the worst stage of the pandemic management process and took effect on 1 September 2022.  It effectively removes all significant restrictions on visiting in those care homes not experiencing an outbreak, while a risk assessed method of managing visiting during outbreaks is also set out which replaces the previous requirement for all visiting to cease during an outbreak. 



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