Coronavirus Update: Ban put in place for visiting residential social institutions

A ban on visiting, outdoor access and new admissions has been introduced with relation to residential social institutions.

Several professional protocols and new regulations are making the work and lives of people working within social fields safer during the state of emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the decision issued by the National Chief Medical Officer on March 17, the ban on visiting extends to all institutions that provide professional social care, child protection professional care, juvenile correctional facilities, and transitional homes for families and children. Simultaneously to the visiting ban, people living there are also not permitted to leave the facilities in future. The decision also includes the fact that institutions must enforce a ban on new admissions.

Parallel to this, the professional protocol to be applied in the current situation, which was prepared by the Ministry of Human Capacities, also facilitates the work of people involved in providing basic social care. General principles include a more thorough hygiene protocol, the reorganization of forms of service that involve many people, simpler administration, and the development of contact with as few people as possible.

The professional protocol is available online via the Social Sector portal (http://szocialisportal.hu/).

The stricter measures have been introduced to ensure that all forms of social care are more efficient and safer thanks to protocols and regulations that conform to the transitional period that lies before us, which is full of challenges.

The healthcare state of emergency declared in view of the pandemic requires a much greater effort and sacrifice on the part of some professionals in the country, and this is especially true of people serving in social institutions and caring for people most in need who have been left alone, and for larger communities. The people working in social fields are helping the lives of the most endangered people 24 hours-a-day in a prepared and disciplined manner, even during the coronavirus epidemic. Elderly and homeless care is also one of the most high-risk areas in the fight against the coronavirus, just as working in handicapped and child protection institutions and in larger communities also requires increased effort during the period of the epidemic.

The social profession’s largest organizations are in continuous contact with the State Secretariat for Social Affairs to enable an immediate response in the most unexpected situations, thereby also reducing the risks and dangers posed by the epidemic. The requirements of people receiving social care are best known and handled by local communities, and accordingly the provision of social care is primarily the task of local authorities. The vast majority of social services are maintained by Churches, local authorities or non-governmental organizations.

A call center set up for advice on the coronavirus can be reached on +36-80-277-455 and +36-80-277-456 or by email koronavirus@bm.gov.hu