Visiting during the COVID-19 pandemic

At this time, in line with provincial guidelines, general visitation is now permitted for all provincially operated acute care facilities, health centres and long-term care homes as well as privately operated long-term care homes, personal care homes, and community care homes.

All support persons/visitors must be able to wear the mask provided at point of entry, and visitation may be suspended if visitors are not following procedures/facility policies.

Effective July 23, 2021, updated guidelines replace the previously designated visitor process for visiting patients in hospital and long-term care residents.

Registration and screening

  • All visitors/support persons must continue to register and be screened upon arrival to a health-care facility.
  • Please note that there could be a delay in screening upon entry to a facility if high number of visitors arrive at the same time.

Public health guidance

  • Two adults (18+) may visit a patient at the same time which is in accordance with Eastern Health’s existing visiting policy. To assist with physical distancing requirements, during this time, the support person is included as one of the two visitors.
    o Visitors are not limited to one visit a day.
  • All visitors/support persons will be required to adhere to public health guidance at health-care facilities to ensure the safety of patients/residents and staff.
  • Those who are required to self-isolate are permitted to visit/provide support in certain situations for obstetrics and end-of life care and are asked to discuss visitation with the patient/resident’s health-care team before visiting.
  • Some areas across the organization may not be able to accommodate multiple support people/visitors due to the need to maintain physical distancing requirements. In these cases, clinical care teams will work with families to identify visitation options.

Precautions around confirmed/suspect cases of COVID-19

  • Patients/residents who are suspected to have COVID-19 must wear personal protective equipment for the visit as per protocol.
  • If a patient/resident is confirmed COVID-19 positive, limited visitation can occur in consultation with the care team.
  • Individuals who are required to self-isolate are permitted to provide visit/support only in the specific situations such as obstetrics and palliative care, and only in consultation with the clinical care team of the patient/resident.
  • As well, anyone who is feeling unwell or sick should not visit patients/residents.

Physical distancing

  • Visitors/support persons are reminded that physical distancing (two metres/six feet) is still required in all spaces throughout our hospitals or sites including patient and resident rooms, and that visits will only proceed for individuals who meet the screening criteria.

Face masks

  • Visitors/support persons will be provided with a face mask and are required to wear it at all times while inside Eastern Health facilities. Visitors will also be asked to clean their hands. The clinical care team will advise visitors when additional personal protective equipment is required to be worn while with the patient/resident.

Visiting hours

  • Visiting hours are determined by facility and visitors/support persons are advised to contact the patient’s/resident’s health-care team for further information.
  • Visitors entering a health-care facility should proceed directly to the patient/resident’s room and once visitation is complete, they should immediately exit the facility to assist with physical distancing within our facilities.
  • We ask visitors to be mindful of physical distancing requirements and the total number of people in a shared room. As well, please keep in mind the comfort level of the other patients/residents of the room.
  • For more information on Eastern Health’s visiting hours, please visit

Support persons (out-patient and/or emergency department visits)

  • To assist with physical distancing for out-patient or emergency department visits, patients are asked to consider the necessity of bringing an additional person. Patients who can safely manage without assistance/support should proceed to an Eastern Health facility unaccompanied.
  • Support persons may be asked to wait outside the facility to ensure adequate space is available in the waiting area for patients. The clinical care team will accommodate the support person in the treatment area when requested by the patient and if sufficient space is available to do so safely.

Other details

In line with the province’s Together Again Plan, effective July 1, 2021, Eastern Health is pleased to welcome visitors from outside of Atlantic Canada, provided the individual is not self-isolating; does not have any symptoms of COVID-19 or known exposures to COVID-19; and meets all other screening criteria for visitation. Individuals who are required to self-isolate are permitted to provide support/visit in certain situations for obstetrics and end-of life care. These support persons/visitors are directed to discuss visitation with the patient’s health-care team.
Support persons/visitors are advised that if they show any signs or symptoms of COVID-19, they should not enter a health-care, or long-term care/residential care site, and contact 811 by visiting or by calling 811.

Visitor restrictions during the pandemic have been critically important to the safety of our patients, staff and physicians. We would like to thank the public for their understanding and co-operation during this time.

Virtual visitation

Virtual visitation can be an alternate way to connect with loved ones during these visitor restrictions. To arrange for a virtual visit, please also discuss your request with the care team.

For more information, please see our Public Service Announcements:

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Last updated: 2021-09-20