Families will be allowed back into rest homes to see loved ones under alert level 2 after being shut out for at least seven weeks.
The New Zealand Aged Care Association has been developing guidelines to ensure everyone's safety and Chief Executive Simon Wallace says they will be strict.
"There's been a real pressure on our rest homes from families to see family so we're responding to it in a managed and responsible way."
Visitors will be allowed in limited numbers and residents won't be allowed out, but one of the most important factors- hugs- will be allowed.
"We're aware of the vulnerability of our elderly more than anyone and that's why we want to maintain the strict protocols," Wallace says.
The guidelines are based on five key factors:
- Specified visiting hours
- A maximum number of family and friends
- Maximum visiting time (probably around half an hour)
- Infection control
- Designated visiting areas
For Jen Evans, whose mum is inside Wesley Care Rest Home in Christchurch, the day the alert level decreases can't come soon enough.
"I will be so excited when I can go and see her."
Her mum has been ill and she is "hugely desperate" to see her again.
"She's been unwell during COVID-19 which has been monumentally upsetting and stressful."
Evans and many other Kiwis are eagerly waiting in anticipation for Monday's announcement of when New Zealand will move to alert level 2.