Few nursing homes have recently implemented facilitation programs despite the high vaccination coverage.

The universities of Nijmegen and Maastricht report this on the basis of research at 76 nursing homes, which have been followed for almost a year.

In most care homes, at least 80 percent of the residents have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and about 60 to 70 percent of the staff.

Despite this, many nursing home residents say they are still struggling with loneliness, partly because so few visitors are welcome and there is little further social interaction.

According to the researchers, some nursing homes only want to introduce more flexible rules if all residents have been fully vaccinated.

Other care homes have not yet made a plan for this and some believe that the same rules should apply in nursing homes as in the rest of the country.

Jan Hamers, Professor of Elderly Care at Maastricht University, thinks that the situation inside and outside nursing homes cannot be compared, however, and insists on relaxation.

"The vaccination coverage in society is much lower and nursing home residents usually do not go to an intensive care unit (ic)," said Hamers.

"I understand how difficult it is to take the first steps, but this is the moment when nursing homes can take the initiative to apply relaxation in consultation with residents, relatives and employees."

VWS understands the caution of nursing homes

The Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) has informed NU.nl that it hopes for more relaxation in nursing homes.

At the same time, the ministry also understands the caution of the nursing homes.

"At the beginning of April, Minister Hugo de Jonge of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, in a letter to Parliament, urged nursing homes to seize opportunities with relaxation," said a spokesman for the ministry.

"But the assessment is up to the nursing homes."

"They know exactly what is going on at their location. We should not take the seat of the location managers from The Hague."