BOTH my parents are in care homes. Since the start of the pandemic, visits have been very restricted, with negative effects on their mental health and happiness.

They are nearing the end of their lives and must do so largely without comfort from their children. I understand why there has been concern over Covid-19 infections in care homes, but there has to be a balance between preserving a small remaining amount of life at all costs and, with due risk mitigation measures, maintaining some quality of life. For my parents, it is like being in prison in a solitary confinement cell. There is no end in sight to this.

I also received guidelines from my mother’s home, stating that residents are put in isolation if showing cold symptoms. She had cold symptoms and was tested and isolated last Tuesday, September 15. Seven days later, she remains isolated and her C19 results are still not back.

Much has been learned about Covid-19 in the past few months. In particular, avoiding contact with others if you are symptomatic or have a fever, social distancing, good hand hygiene and mask use seem to be very effective in reducing transmission.

None of this has been taken into account in creating guidelines for visits to care homes. I get my temperature checked when I go into a bar or restaurant now. This should be possible for care-home visitors.

No-one is knowingly going to visit their loved one if they have symptoms. I am confident every visitor would comply with mask wearing, hand hygiene and social distancing to protect their loved one.

The easiest decision to make is to keep people away from their relatives and say we are doing everything to protect them, but it is neither compassionate nor well-reasoned now. With the above measures in place, elderly relatives can see their children regularly with little if any risk to themselves or staff.

The clock is running down on my parents’ lives. Many others are in the same situation. There is an urgent need for action on this matter and I would like this to be addressed as a high priority.

Hazel Scott, Glasgow.

IN his criticism of the Scottish Government’s Covid restrictions (letters, September 17) Dave Henderson claims that the public have been patient and compliant. No, they haven’t.

If they had, then infection rates would be going down instead of soaring upwards as they are now. Infection rates are at their highest level since May and climbing daily. It has been suggested recently that as many as four out of every five people may not be observing Covid rules.

Police Scotland was called out to over 400 house-parties in a single weekend. If everyone followed the rules correctly, wearing masks in public places, observing social distancing and practicing proper hand hygiene, then the virus would be unable to spread from person to person. It’s not rocket science. “Compliant?”. Aye right!

David Clark, Tarbolton.