Fife hospitals ease restrictions on visiting patients
Restrictions on hospital visiting are being eased from today.
The move will allow relatives to visit loved ones in wards for the first time since lockdown.
Hospitals were open for essential visits only during the pandemic to minimise the spread of the virus, but NHS Fife has confirmed new arrangements from today as Scotland see restrictions lifted across a number of sectors.
People in local hospitals will now be allowed to to receive at least one named visitor.
There will be no strict time limits applied to visits, but some restrictions will remain - and people have asked to be flexible to adapt to any changing circumstances.
NHS Fife said it accepted that, in some cases, the named visitor may need to be accompanied by another person - for example, a child visiting a parent or sibling, or a frail elderly person who cannot attend hospital independently.
It said the named visitor can be changed.
This may be particularly relevant if a person in hospital needs support from a different person, or if the person who has been visiting becomes unwell, needs a rest or is unable to get to hospital.
Infection control measures will remain in place.
These include hand hygiene, physical distancing in communal areas, and face coverings to be worn, unless exempt
Movement around the hospital will also be limited
NHS Fife stressed visits should not take place if the visitor has COVID-19 symptoms or is isolating.
A child in hospital is entitled to have one or both parents or carers present to support them and can have visits from siblings or other children.