Patients in hospitals in Fife will be allowed two visitors a day as Covid rules are eased.
Various rules have been in place since the start of the pandemic, with visiting banned at its height.
More recently, NHS Fife has limited visitors to one per patient, but this will be changed to two from Wednesday.
Health board chiefs say this is now possible due to a fall in number of patients with the virus in Fife hospitals.
Two-metre distancing remains in place so a limit of one person will be enforced where this cannot be accommodated.
In those cases patients will be allowed two guests but at different times.
Essential visiting will continue in wards or areas where people are being treated for Covid. This includes visiting relatives who are receiving end of life care and supporting those with mental health issues, learning disability autism or dementia.
In children’s, neonatal and maternity wards, any children visiting a hospital must be the sibling of those receiving care.
Janette Owens, NHS Fife’s director of nursing, said: “Visits from loved ones are really beneficial for patients’ recovery and we’re committed to making visiting as safe, open and accessible as possible.
“We know allowing only one visitor at a time has been difficult for some patients, and indeed for their families, however, this was essential in helping us reduce the opportunity for clusters of Covid to develop in our hospitals.
“As we ease these restrictions, strict hygiene and distancing measures will remain in place to help us minimise the risk to patients and healthcare staff.
“The fact that we are seeing fewer clusters in our hospitals has been greatly helped by visitors adhering to the measures in place on the use face coverings and hand washing, and we’re very pleased to be in a position where we can ease visiting restrictions once more.”
Continued safety measures
Visitors are asked to regularly apply hand sanitiser, wear a surgical face mask and test for Covid beforehand. Kits are free to those visiting hospitals.
People are also not allowed to bring in presents such as flowers, food parcels or balloons.
Anyone who has recently been sick, had diarrhoea, or any cold and flu symptoms should not visit a hospital, even if they test negative for Covid.