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In-person visits to hospitals, residential care homes allowed for all from Apr 26, regardless of vaccination status

In-person visits to hospitals, residential care homes allowed for all from Apr 26, regardless of vaccination status
File photo of a nurse attending to a patient at a hospital in Singapore.

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

Announcing the move on Monday, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said there would also be adjustments to the safe management measures for such visits.

This comes as a wide range of other COVID-19 measures are also being eased on Tuesday.

These include the lifting of group size limits and safe distancing requirements, as well as the relaxation of vaccination-differentiated safe management measures in most settings. 

MOH had earlier announced the resumption of in-person visits to hospitals and homes from Apr 4 for fully-vaccinated individuals as well as those medically ineligible for COVID-19 vaccination.

Noting that such places are settings with vulnerable individuals who need to be protected from infection, the ministry said hospitals and homes may continue to have certain safe management measures in place.

These include requiring the pre-registration of visitors for patients in hospitals, as well as allowing only two visitors at the bedside each time to avoid crowding in the wards and homes.

"As part of social responsibility, all visitors are encouraged to administer a COVID-19 self-test prior to visiting their loved ones at the hospital or home," MOH said.

Visitors should not see their loved ones if they are feeling unwell, added MOH, and they should avoid sitting on the beds of patients or residents.

MOH also reminded visitors not to eat or drink in the hospital wards or residential areas of the homes, or use the toilets designated for patients or residents.

"They should also abide by the hospital’s visiting hours and do not disturb other patients from their rest," the ministry said. 

Visits to homes will be capped at one hour to allow all families the opportunity to visit their loved ones, MOH said, adding that visitors should continue to schedule the visits with the home 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," it said, noting the next-of-kin of residents may approach the home for further details.

Hospitals here are still seeing "a higher than usual non-COVID workload", MOH said.

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

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Source: CNA/az(gr)

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