New measures such as visiting windows for inpatient settings are recommended by the guidance.
A new framework has been published today to help maternity services in England reintroduce visiting in both outpatient and inpatients settings.
The framework developed by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Royal College of Midwives, and the Society and College of Radiographers supports a gradual reintroduction of visitors for labour and scans alongside routine care.
Labour, antenatal, postnatal and inpatient services will see the gradual reintroduction of visitors starting with essential visitors working up to resuming normal visiting policies.
New measures such as visiting windows for inpatient settings are recommended by the guidance to better allow for social distancing measures.
Other measures include enhanced hand hygiene, one way systems, and personal protective equipment (PPE) are also recommended.
Women with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 will only be allowed essential visitors.
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) says it welcomes the news and that a lack “consistent approach ” had caused numerous issues for Midwives.
Gill Walton, Chief Executive of the RCM, commented; “Visiting restrictions during the pandemic have been challenging for everybody, particularly for pregnant women and their families at an incredibly important and transformative time in their lives.
“These new guidelines are good news for them and for staff.
“They set out clearly the rules around visiting, providing much-needed clarity about who can visit and the precautions they need to take to ensure visits can be done safely for themselves, for the people they are visiting, and for staff.
“The guidance will also be welcome by maternity staff who have experienced some aggression from a small minority of visitors, unhappy and confused with varying and changing guidance.”