VISITOR restrictions in Worcestershire community hospitals and mental health wards have been relaxed this week.
Patients can now designate one close family contact, relative or friend to visit them once a week.
Those visiting will need to contact their chosen ward in advance to book their slot.
They will be given a face covering before entering and other measures including social distancing and hand washing will be in enforced.
Community hospitals in areas such as Bromsgrove, Tenbury, Malvern, Kidderminster, Pershore, Worcester and Evesham have been closed since the start of January when Covid-19 cases began to increase.
Mental health units in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, all run by the Health and Care Trust, have also been closed to visitors unless in exceptional circumstances.
And local health bosses have announced that three of Worcestershire’s Minor Injury Units (MIU) will reopen this month.
Evesham and Malvern MIUs plan to reopen on Tuesday, April 6 and Tenbury MIU on April 19.
MIUs are for minor injuries only, not for emergency or life threatening conditions.
For example treating a sprain, strain, small cut or burn.
Michelle Greatorex, director of nursing and quality at Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, said: “We are really pleased to be taking the first steps towards what we hope will be a return normal visiting arrangements.
“We aren’t quite there yet, and it may still be some months before all restrictions can be lifted, but doing this in a more controlled way will help ensure patients and relatives benefit from some face-to-face time together in as safe a way as possible.”
See www.hacw.nhs.uk/visiting to book.