The relaxation of visiting restrictions for care home residents has been welcomed across the board by care home residents, their families and staff.

Residents at nursing homes across Fermanagh have now been able to reunite with their families and resume outdoor trips without having to isolate upon return.

One care home which has welcomed family members to visit their relations was Meadow View in Enniskillen.

Home Manager, Lisa Gray, said: “Since the restrictions have been eased, the difference in the residents has been amazing to see.

“Hearing their stories when they come back from spending time with loved ones is fantastic. It is excellent for the wellbeing of both our residents and their families, who can now spend quality time together again.

“Just knowing we are getting back to some kind of normality does us all the world of good.”

Under new regulations, care home residents will be allowed two visits a week. Children will also be permitted to visit, and hand-holding will be allowed, although aprons and masks will still have to be worn according to the guidance.

Many of the residents were delighted to be reunited with their family members, including doting grandad Packie, who had a visit from his granddaughter, Aoife.

His daughter Kerri said how “amazing it was to see daddy” and be allowed in to the home.

Under new regulations, residents will be allowed to leave homes twice per week on day trips, and will not have to self-isolate on return.

Jenny was delighted to see her mum, Elish, and take her out one evening this week.

“We both really enjoyed our time out and about together. It’s so important for families to be with one another and spend time together.”

Jean and Julie visited their mum, Eunice. Speaking following their visit, they said: “We were so glad to see mum in person and felt very comfortable coming into the home to visit.

“PPE was provided and restrictions were followed to the highest standard. We were made to feel very welcome and mum’s room is absolutely beautiful.”