The daughter of a care home resident has said she hopes this is “the start of more hugs for many, many people” as she was able to meet her 90-year-old mother indoors for the first time in three months.
Coronavirus restrictions have been eased which means people can meet with their loved ones inside the homes.
Residents are allowed to have two designated visitors, with each visitor able to see their relative once a week.
Fiona Scott was at Queen’s House in Kelso, in the Scottish Borders, on Monday to visit her mother, Mary Cook.
It was the first time she was able to meet with the grandmother-of-four indoors for three months.
She said: “It’s hard to put into words, you don’t feel as separate. It’s just normal isn’t it?
“I just feel very sorry for all the folks that cannot get together like this.”
Ms Scott added: “The touch and feel, it can speak a volume of words.
“A hug’s a gesture that you can’t put into words but it conveys so much to the person.
“Let’s hope that this is the start of more hugs for many, many people.”
Steven Bailey, concierge at the care home, said: “The difference is amazing – to see Mary and Fiona today, it’s just the best feeling in the world.
“It reminds me of all the reasons why I do this job.
“I think it will be very overwhelming for everybody – including the staff.
“It’s been a long time coming.”
Data released last week showed that care home coronavirus deaths had fallen by 62% in the last three weeks, with the figure cited by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as the first “hard evidence” of the vaccine’s impact.
The Scottish Government said that with the extra protection in place, the greater risk to residents’ wellbeing is from a lack of family contact.
Visitors will be “strongly recommended” to take a coronavirus test on-site and will have to wear PPE.
Cathie Russell, who has been campaigning with the Care Home Relatives Scotland group, said: “We look forward to working with care home providers, public health and oversight teams to ensure that the new guidance allows residents to enjoy meaningful contact with their closest relatives and friends once more.”