Go give grandma a hug: long-term care ministry loosening restrictions on Ontario homes

Brief physical contact and overnight stays permitted thanks to high vaccination rates

With more and more Ontario seniors getting their first and second doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, the province is loosening restrictions on long-term care homes. And that includes allowing hugs.

Effective Wednesday, June 9, Ontario is allowing long-term care residents more social connection with loved ones. Residents who have been fully immunized will be able to leave their home for a day or overnight social outings or trips. Those will mobility concerns that prevent outdoor visits may have one general visitor inside the home at a time, on top of an essential caregiver.

The Long-Term Care Ministry says, regardless of resident or visitor vaccination status, brief hugs can take place. Where both resident and visitor ae fully immunized, close physical contact, such as handholding, can now take place safely.

“Thanks to high immunization levels, residents and their families can resume more of the activities that contribute to their quality of life,” said Long-Term Care Minister Merrilee Fullerton.

As of May 31, it is estimated that 97 per cent of Ontario’s long-term care residents are fully immunized, while nearly 90 per cent of staff have received at least their first dose.

Feature image courtesy Flickr