SINGAPORE - Nursing home residents will be allowed to have one visitor a day for up to 30 minutes from Friday (June 19), when the second phase of reopening the economy starts.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced the details in a statement on Wednesday spelling out various measures to support seniors, such as the resumption of senior-centric activities and daycare services at most senior care centres and active ageing hubs.
The ministry said each nursing home resident will be allowed a maximum of two designated visitors to minimise the risk of infection within the nursing homes, though only one can visit each day.
Visitors had earlier been banned from nursing homes from April 2.
From Friday, visitors will be screened before entry, and should not visit the homes if unwell.
The total number of visitors allowed daily in a home will also be capped through appointments, in particular during the initial period such as the coming weekend (June 20-21), said the MOH.
The ministry said caregivers are encouraged to work with the nursing homes to make appointments to visit the homes over the following weeks instead of rushing this weekend.
It added that it will review visitor management measures in the coming weeks and adjust them accordingly, depending on the risk of community transmission.
The nursing homes will also have to put in place additional precautionary measures to protect their residents, such as dedicated visitation areas or safe distancing precautions.
The MOH said senior-centric activities organised by the People's Association, Health Promotion Board, Sport Singapore, and the Council for Third Age may also resume in phase two, though these will be limited to activities that can be done individually to keep interactions low. Participants will not be able to share equipment.
These activities include computer classes and health talks, and will be kept small with safe distancing measures in place.
The MOH added that the second phase will also see eased restrictions to allow more seniors to take part in programmes run by senior activity centres and Community Resource, Engagement and Support Team (Crest) providers that had progressively resumed in phase one.
Daycare services at most senior care centres and active ageing hubs will resume on June 29 to support seniors and their caregivers who have to return to work in phase two, said the MOH.
All care staff will be tested for the coronavirus before daycare services can resume.
So far, more than 3,600 staff of non-residential community care services have been tested, said the MOH. All tests have returned negative.