Cork University Maternity Hospital has introduced unrestricted visiting from 7am to 11pm daily for one nominated person.
The new measure is effective immediately and nominated visitors can self-schedule daily visits now by following a link that will be texted to them.
The announcement, made on Monday, marks a significant shift in visiting restrictions at the hospital, which has had to put strict limitations in place since the beginning of the pandemic.
Nominated visitors will need to complete a Covid-19 screening survey before visiting. Upon completion, they will receive a barcode that will allow fast-tracked entry into the hospital.
The hospital is "urging" all patients and their partners to avail of the Covid-19 vaccine, and added that children cannot visit at this time.
Outside of the new visiting hours, partners are welcome to attend early pregnancy scans, the 12 week scan, the anatomy scan at 21 to 26 weeks, and will be allowed entry to the hospital when the patient is in established labour.
There are also unrestricted visiting hours for the hospital's high dependency unit and neonatal unit, which parents can both visit but must continue to do so separately.
CUMH Visitor Restrictions Update: From Tuesday 19th October, there is inpatient visiting from 7am to 11pm daily for nominated partner/visitor only. Full details at https://t.co/6jyewOlZdc— Ireland South Women & Infants Directorate (@IrelandSouthWID) October 18, 2021
According to the hospital's website, partners will also be allowed entry in any other situation where there is reason to anticipate that the visit is "likely to be associated with particular stress or to involve communication of particular emotional significance".
Social media users welcomed the announcement after it was shared on the Ireland South Women and Infant Directorate's Twitter page, with some wondering if the same measures will put in place at the directorate's other units, which include University Hospital Kerry, University Hospital Waterford and Tipperary University Hospital.
For more information see the Cork University Maternity Hospital website.