Rivlin asks Ministry of Health to allow family visits to hostels

President seeks leniency for family visits to those with physical and mental disabilities living in hostels operated by the state.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

President Reuven Rivlin
President Reuven Rivlin
Yehonatan Weltzer/TPS

President Reuven Rivlin has asked Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman to look into the arrangements during the coronavirus outbreak for visits by family members to those with physical and mental disabilities living in hostels operated by the state or on its behalf. The president asked the minster to consider, as soon as possible, a change in policy that would allow family visits to hostels to restart soon.

“As we are all experiencing personally at this time, the implications of the health crisis touch us all and are not limited to the physical impact but have harmful social and mental affects because of the important and life-saving necessity of social distancing.

'The psychological difficulty of being distant from those dearest to us becomes a genuine burden for young people and adults with a range of physical and mental disabilities who are not always able to grasp the new situation in which we find ourselves. The confusion and anxiety we naturally feel are amplified many times over for those who cannot completely understand the situation, and who desperately need human contact and the real presence of their relations and families to relax and to get back their sense of safety,” wrote the president.

"I ask you to take into account the genuine crisis that may be created among those with disabilities who are cut off from their families, and the psychological and physical differences between those living in hostels and homes. It is very possible that the severe psychological implications of this kind of isolation justifies a relaxation of the policy of limitations on visits, or at least a clearer distinction between those in risk groups and those for whom isolation is a greater danger to them,” he added.