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DUP MLA Pam Cameron has expressed disappointment that restrictions on visits to antenatal and postnatal wards are to remain. Mrs Cameron is vice-chair of the Assembly's Health Committee and had written to the Health Minister highlighting the distress caused to many expectant mothers and to partners.

She said, "Everyone understands the importance of preventing infections from entering our hospitals, and particularly the need to stop the transmission of Covid-19. The restrictions placed on visits to antenatal and postnatal wards however have been incredibly difficult and I have heard first hand from many expectant parents of how distressing they have found it to be placed in that situation.

Whilst the restrictions are very clear in their aim of preventing Covid-19 spread wherever possible, they increase the already significant strains on mental and emotional wellbeing at such an important time for parents.

Whilst I appreciate the Minister's response in outlining the current restrictions I would urge him to keep them under continual review. With no immediate prospect of these restrictions being lifted, and with Covid-19 likely to be a feature of life for many months to come it is vital that the safe amendment of these restrictions should be a priority whenever possible."