Children and groups will not be allowed to visit nursing homes in Ireland as restrictions are imposed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The number of cases of Covid-19 in the country more than doubled on Thursday, with the first case of community transmission also confirmed.
Seven new cases were confirmed by the Department of Health on Thursday night, bringing the number of cases in Ireland to 13.
A further three cases have been detected in Northern Ireland.
COVID-19 / Coronavirus: Visitor Restrictions announced by Nursing Homes Ireland https://t.co/P8TTebBUof— Nursing Homes Ire (@NursingHomesIre) March 6, 2020
Nursing Homes Ireland (NHI) said the decision was made for the protection of nursing home residents.
People are being advised to only visit residents in urgent circumstances and are being asked to contact the home before attending.
In a statement, Nursing Homes Ireland said: “For the protection of nursing home residents, NHI has confirmed that visiting restrictions are now in place in nursing homes nationwide.
“No non-essential visiting, children or groups will be allowed.
“We urge prospective visitors to nursing homes to be cognisant and understanding of the measure that is required in the interest of resident and staff safety.”
It added: “All visitors are asked to contact prior to attending.
“Visitors should only seek to attend in urgent circumstances and the management reserve the right to impose full restrictions where necessary.
“The virus presents an unprecedented situation for our nursing homes and the care provided within them.”