A draft voluntary code of practice allowing visits to dying relatives in nursing homes has been announced (Friday 1st May 2020), as the national cabinet meets to discuss aged care restrictions.
Council on the Ageing chief executive Ian Yates told The Sydney Morning Herald the code should be made mandatory, saying that spouses who visit to feed partners with dementia were being denied entry.
The Health Services Union countered that any relaxation of rules risked the lives of aged-care facility workers and residents, with industry advocates calling for more funding for protective equipment.
In a new outbreak, four residents and one worker tested positive for COVID-19 at an aged-care home in Melbourne, prompting calls to ramp up testing for facilities housing the elderly, who are at much greater risk of dying from the virus.
At 10am today the national cabinet meeting of state and territory leaders will review the code with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who has lobbied for visitation bans to be lifted.
The meeting will also cover COVID-19 plans for surveillance, mental health, ahead of a weekend that will see a range of restrictions lifted.