Coronavirus: The rules grandparents have to follow around the world

Switzerland and Denmark allow relatives to hug grandchildren 

Rory Sullivan
Tuesday 05 May 2020 13:21
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Girl reunited with grandparents in Italy as lockdown measures relaxed

Some grandparents in Italy have celebrated the easing of lockdown by seeing their grandchildren for the first time since restrictions began in March.

The Italian government lifted some of its coronavirus restrictions on Monday after almost two months of lockdown, allowing families to see one another again.

Maria Antonietta Galluzzo, a grandmother who lives in Rome, took full advantage of the announcement, taking her three-year-old grandson for a walk in the Villa Borghese park.

“I woke up at 5.30 a.m. I was so excited,” she said.

“He has grown by this much ... It is wonderful,” Ms Galluzzo added.

As well allowing relatives to reunite, the new rules mean construction work can begin again and some cafes can open for takeaways.

More than 29,000 people in Italy have died as a result of Covid-19, and there were 195 new deaths from the virus on Monday.

In other European countries, grandparents are also now able to see their grandchildren once more.

On Monday, Denmark’s Health Authority issued new coronavirus guidelines, which permit grandparents to see and hug their grandchildren.

“You can of course give hugs to those closest to you, for example your partner, children and grandchildren,” the guidance says.

As part of the new advice, Danish authorities have raised the age of those deemed to be at risk from Covid-19 from 65 to 70.

In Switzerland, Daniel Koch, the country’s infectious diseases chief, said last week that children under 10 are allowed to see their grandparents.

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According to Mr Koch, young children “don’t transmit the virus” and therefore do not put their older relatives at risk.

He added that grandparents “live to see their grandkids”, stressing that it was important for their mental health to do so.

The revised guidelines came after the health ministry had consulted with scientists at universities in Zurich, Bern and Geneva, the Swiss broadcaster SRF said.

The UK still has lockdown measures, which forbid people from meeting up with family members from different households.

Arlene Foster, the first minister of Northern Ireland, told the public on Friday that people should continue to stay at home.

“We know that you are desperate to get back to the life that you had before. Grandparents long to hug their grandchildren ... however as strong as that desire may be, we also need to be realistic and as we head into another weekend we have to stay home as much as possible,” she said.

 

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