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Southern Health and Social Care Trust have announced that visiting to most of their sites will remain suspended for now due to levels of Covid-19 in the Trust area, as well as other factors. Visiting will remain suspended with the exception of maternity and paediatrics.

Daisy Hill Hospital. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

In an announcement on Friday the Department of Health had recommended that all Health and Social Care Trust facilities in Northern Ireland should move to facilitate at least one face-to-face visit per week by one person. Their statement followed a decision by the UK Chief Medical Officers that the Regional Alert Level should move back from Level 5 to Level 4 with immediate effect.

A Spokesperson for the Southern Trust said "Regrettably, given the levels of COVID-19 circulating in the Southern Trust area and other localised factors – in order to protect visitors, patients and staff – visiting on most of our sites and facilities remains temporarily suspended – with the exception of maternity and paediatrics.

"We fully appreciate that this is very difficult for families but in the interest of everyone’s safety, we regret that it remains necessary at this time.

"The situation will remain under constant review and we will work towards enabling limited visiting when it is safe to do so."

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