After a long period of isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, residents in Ontario’s long-term care homes can now enjoy more outings and close contact with their loved ones.
Starting Wednesday, fully-vaccinated residents can leave for day and overnight trips.
The province said “brief” hugs will also be permitted regardless of the vaccination status of those involved.
If both resident and visitors are fully vaccinated, then close physical contact like hand-holding can take place.
The province said it is relaxing restrictions, given the high level of vaccination in the long-term care sector and improvements in other public health indicators.
As part of the changes, residents with mobility limitations or other health conditions that make outdoor visits impossible will be allowed to have one visitor indoors as well as an essential caregiver.
The province stresses, however, that everyone should continue to follow public health measures such as hand washing and wearing masks.
Families and advocates had been calling on the province to ease rules around visits since most residents have been fully vaccinated against the virus.