NEW guidance for NHS Wales hospital visiting during the pandemic will be published today (Monday, November 30).

The revised guidelines sets out the baseline for visiting in Wales during the pandemic, but allows health boards, trusts and hospices to have more flexibility to depart from the guidance.

The Welsh Government says the flexibility is due to the “changing picture of transmission” across Wales, with significant variations in community transmission across the country.

The guidelines allow health providers to assess local factors, and work with local infection prevention when agreeing visiting arrangements.

In recent days large parts of Gwent have seen significant rises in cases, including in Newport, Torfaen and Caerphilly.

Providers may depart from the guidance in response to rising or falling cases.


For maternity services, visiting guidelines will now be based on a risk assessment approach by health boards, which will take into consideration local environmental factors such as room sizes, ability to socially distance, and infection prevention.

The new guidelines also recognise that some people may require an essential support assistant for specific additional support, like a support worker.

Essential support assistants will not be classed as visitors, and where people receive care from a family member or partner, they can nominate that person as their essential support assistant.

Explaining the reasons for the new guidelines further, health minister Vaughan Gething said: “We recognise that the restrictions on visiting has a huge impact on patients, their families and their loved ones.

“It is important to remember that the virus has not gone away and the health, safety and wellbeing of patients, communities and NHS staff remains an absolute priority for both the Welsh Government and health care providers.

“Tough choices will still need to be made but we hope the revised guidelines will allow more flexibility for providers.”