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March 26, 2020

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Family allowed into elderly homes again

Visitors are now allowed to homes for the elderly again, but only with advance bookings, Shanghai authorities said yesterday.

Visits are restricted to common areas.

The ban on visits to the rooms of the elderly at senior homes remains in effect.

The Civil Affairs Bureau still encourages communication via video and phone as a way for families to keep in touch.

Reservations are not mandatory for family members looking to visit sick elderly relatives.

Visitors must present their health QR code and wear masks, the bureau said.

Senior homes are ordered to register and review the details of visitors and measure their temperature and perform disinfection.

New residents at senior homes should undergo a 14-day medical observation before they move into their living areas, the bureau ordered.

New workers should also undergo a 14-day medical observation before starting their duties, according to the bureau.

Senior homes had been banned from hiring new staff due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

A ban on express, food and medicine delivery workers remains in effect and parcels must be taken to seniors by staff.

Regular temperature checks on seniors are still ordered and gatherings of more than 20 people are banned, the bureau said.

Community-based senior canteens and meal service venues are allowed to gradually reopen.

But strict prevention measures have been ordered by city authorities.

Seniors in home quarantine, living alone and with physical disabilities are the priority, the bureau said.

The elderly — those over 60 — make up a third of Shanghai’s population so far. More than 800,000 are over 80. And that level is growing by more than a quarter of a million people every year. China has an estimated 255 million elderly.


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