Patients staying in Fife’s hospitals will now be allowed one visitor per day on the majority of wards, as Covid-19 restrictions imposed due to Omicron are relaxed.
Rules put in place at the start of January, due to the sharp rise in cases, meant only “essential visits” were allowed.
People could only visit loved ones in certain circumstances, such as at the end of their life or if they required family support.
But as restrictions put in place to control the spread of Omicron are removed, NHS Fife has announced that patients on the majority of hospital wards – including community hospitals – will be allowed one visitor per day.
Visitors will be asked to take a lateral flow test, wear a mask and follow social distancing guidelines.
Visitors are also asked not to bring in items like food parcels, helium balloons or flowers.
In wards five and six at Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline, and ward 10 at the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy, an appointment system is in place.
But the health board has warned that there may still be circumstances when visiting has to be restricted again, such as if a ward has an outbreak of coronavirus cases.
A statement from the health board said: “At times it may be necessary to restrict visiting for short periods of time for specific reasons.
“For example, if there is an outbreak of an infection such as Covid-19 in a ward it is normal practice to restrict visiting until the outbreak is under control.”
Maternity ward visiting rules
Separate rules are in place for maternity wards, with women allowed one birth partner throughout induction, labour and birth. Someone can also accompany pregnant women to antenatal appointments.
It comes after the last remaining rules introduced by the Scottish Government were lifted, allowing venues like nightclubs to reopen.
The vaccine passport system and rules around self-isolation are still in place, with those operating large events such as football matches required to check about 50% of attendees.