7th April 2021, 20:32
The GSD says that a balance needs to be struck so that those who have not received the vaccine are able to see their loved ones.
The Opposition party says that it's received reports of people who haven't had the COVID-19 vaccine being told they can't visit parents or relatives in hospital or Elderly Residential Services.
The Party highlights situations in which patients undergoing medical treatment in Spain can see relatives, but can't once they return to St. Bernard's Hospital.
It says in all these situations, the patients being visited have had the vaccine for COVID-19.
Leader of the Opposition Keith Azopardi says the GSD supports the vaccine programme but that if someone can't have the vaccine for medical reasons or chooses not to, they cannot lose their rights. He says that these people are being put in an agonising position by being told they can't see a loved one.
The GSD challenges the Government's claim that vaccines are not mandatory and says to give effect to that, it needs to find ways to allow unvaccinated individuals to see their family. The GSD suggests precautions be taken using swabs before visits or PPE. It says staff at ERS and St. Bernards interact with unvaccinated individuals outside of work, and that some haven't had the vaccine themselves.
It says measures need to be proportionate and calls on the Government to review the current restrictions in respect of visiting loved ones.
And in a separate statement, the GSD had called for the rule on the number of people that can gather - 16 - to be lifted, as COVID cases are at their lowest since summer.