Update on Visitor Restrictions in Long-Term Care and Seniors’ Assisted Living – March 25
The BC Ministry of Health announced today that changes to social visitation policies in long-term care and senior’s assisted living will be made to ease restrictions starting April 1.
Restrictions on social visitation have been in place since March 2020. With the added layer of protection provided by vaccinations, it has been deemed an appropriate time to ease these restrictions to support safe social connections.
Starting April 1, the following changes will be put in place:
- All residents will be allowed regular, frequent, and routine opportunities for social visitation.
- The “single designated social visitor” restriction will be removed, allowing additional family and friends to visit.
- The number of visitors will be expanded, allowing up to two visitors, plus a child (defined as 18 or younger) at any one time.
- Visits will be allowed to be made in the resident’s room, or on outings with no requirement for isolation afterwards.
- Visits must allow for a minimum of 60 minutes (they must be booked in advance).
- Visitors will be asked only to visit with one resident at a time, and to limit their group activities.
- Physical contact—including hugging—will be allowed, provided visitors wear a mask and follow proper infection control procedures (i.e. hand washing and cough etiquette).
Visitors will not be required to be immunized before visiting. Existing safety precautions will continue.
- Visitors are required to wear a mask.
- Visitation will require advanced booking.
- Visitors will be screened before their visit.
Social visitation will continue to be suspended during outbreaks.
A full list of guidelines will be made available on the BC Centre of Disease Control Website.
These guidelines will be in place until June 30th, and then reviewed based on the status of the pandemic.