With the local vaccination drives moving swiftly and successfully, pandemic-related restrictive measures have been easing over the past weeks. Now, elderly people living in residential care homes will soon be able to go out on their own as from July 19, as Minister for Senior Citizens and Active Ageing Michael Farrugia announced.
Speaking at the Social Care Standards Authority, the minister said that pandemic-related restrictions at homes for the elderly and at St Vincent de Paul Residence will be eased further.
Elderly residents were greatly impacted by restrictive measures that had been imposed since the pandemic broke out back in March 2020. For months on end, they were not allowed to leave their rooms and or see their loved ones.
Thanks to the vaccine roll-out and a drop in the number of people infected by the virus, the elderly were allowed out of their rooms, visits resumed on June 14, and residents were allowed out of the care homes so long as they were accompanied by fully vaccinated relatives.
As of July 19, they will now be given back their full independence and will be able to go out alone. Meanwhile, from July 3, the length of visiting times has been extended from the current 25-minute per visitor slot to one-hour morning visits and one-and-a-half hours in afternoons.
The elderly can also have up to two visitors per session in their room, as long as both visitors and the elderly are vaccinated. However, masks will crucially remain mandatory.