Prof Van Ranst acknowledges that the measure should have been discussed with the sector first and that it wasn’t right for people in the sector to learn from a security council announcement that visitors are on the way.
“For many people in care homes this guideline is welcome. Some people are getting very lonely. You can wonder whether this was the right time given the amount of work in care homes and protective equipment visitors will have to wear.”
Prof Van Ranst notes that it was up to the scientists to provide advice, not to liaise with individual sectors themselves and certainly not to get involved in politics.
He adds: “This shows what problems are on the way. This is one detail that can easily be reversed. It is now up to the community governments to decide how the measure is implemented.”