Government allows group activities up to 40 people in social care institutions

Government allows group activities up to 40 people in social care institutions

Maintaining the restrictions imposed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in social care institutions, people staying there will be permitted to gather in groups of 20 to 40 people for different activities. This includes television viewing and game nights, as reported by Welfare Ministry’s Communication Office head Aiga Ozoliņa.

Under favourable conditions, meetings and events should be organized within institutions’ territory, garden or gazebo. The condition remains in force that prevents people suffering from symptoms of acute respiratory diseases from taking part in events.

Because COVID-19 in Latvia is under control, Welfare Ministry and Healthcare Ministry together with Disease Prevention and Monitoring Centre’s (SPKC) specialists have developed new recommendations for lasting social care and social rehabilitation institutions for preventive measures and relieved restrictions.

The ministry notes that by maintaining a cautious approach, lasting social care and rehabilitation institutions’ management have to balance preventive measures and tenants’ rights to meet their relatives, receive packages, go shopping, go on walks, spend time doing hobbies, letting artists visit in small groups and organize celebrations.

One of the important factors is meeting relatives, including visits of potential adopting parents, potential foster family, guardians and guest families. This is permitted at the moment. Still, visitors have to maintain precautions, disinfect hands, use face masks and maintain a safe distance from one another. It is also necessary to schedule visits in advance.

According to the ministry, care institutions have to provide the option for people to communicate remotely – by phone, using WhatsApp video conference options or Zoom and Webex.

Since the spread of COVID-19 is not over, preventive measures are still recommended to preserve people’s health, considering that often tenants of social care institutions often suffer from chronic illnesses and living in close proximity increases the risk of the illness spreading.

Restrictions could be increased if the situation with COVID-19 worsens, because it is important to prevent uncontrolled outbreaks.

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