RULE CHANGES: Pandemic restrictions eased at hospitals

COVID visiting restrictions at Northern NSW hospitals have been relaxed from today, to allow more visitors in hospitals and health facilities.

The Northern NSW Local Health District confirmed visitor restrictions will be eased to the following levels:

• General and Mental Health Inpatient Units: A maximum of two visitors, twice a day for two hours. This means four individuals could visit across the two sessions.

• MPS sites: Four designated visitors a day, being two visitors at a time, for two hours.

  • Maternity Units: There are no changes to the current restrictions, which allow two support people per birth, with no other visitors while in hospital. Siblings can visit on the condition that they are currently well.

Authorities explained visitor hours will remain restricted to between 1pm and 6pm daily.

Health screening is still in place at all NNSWLHD facilities, and visitors are still required to wear masks while inside a hospital or community health centre, as part of the measures to reduce any risk of transmission and keep patients safe.

Anyone entering a facility will have their temperature checked and be asked a series of questions to determine they are well and have not visited any COVID hot spots in the past 14 days, NNSWLHD Chief Executive Wayne Jones said.

“We want to thank the community for their continued understanding,” he said.

“We’ve needed to be flexible and adapt to many changes as we’ve moved through the various phases of our response to this pandemic, and it’s really heartening to see the community support our health response and our staff.

“As we head into Christmas and arrange to gather with loved ones and friends,

we’re also reminding people that our best defence against COVID-19 is to stay on

top of the basics we’ve been doing so well.

“That means, getting tested at the first sign of any symptoms, washing hands or

using hand sanitiser regularly, keeping 1.5m distance from people you don’t

live with and checking-in at any venues you visit.”

There are more than 300 COVID-19 testing locations across NSW.

The four hospital-based testing clinics in Northern NSW will be open throughout the

holiday period, seven days a week.