A Donegal TD has called on the Government to ensure Covid-19 restrictions are adjusted to allow partners to be present in delivery rooms and during scans.

Deputy Thomas Pringle raised the matter yesterday and said: “The Covid 19 restrictions around our society have been hard and necessary as well. There is no doubt about that and it is incumbent on us all to ensure that the restrictions are followed fully.

“I believe that it is nonsensical that partners or husbands of pregnant women are not allowed into the delivery ward with their partner and even doubly so that they are not allowed to attend the 20-week scan. But in saying that I have to say that there are some restrictions that don’t seem to make sense to me or lots of other people.

“I am thinking specifically of the restrictions in place in maternity wards around the state.”

The Independent Deputy said he heard from a constituent who said that pregnant women throughout the country are currently going through appointments, scans, labour and sometimes even birthing alone, in what is arguably the most vulnerable time of their lives.

Deputy Pringle said: “This is especially true for people who get the devastating news that their pregnancies are not viable or those who have to go through a miscarriage without a loved one present.

“The WHO guidelines state that Covid-19 should not impact on a woman’s right to have a partner of her choice with her throughout pregnancy.

“The National Maternity Strategy 2016-2026 aims for a woman-centred maternity system that promises ‘dignity, respect and compassion’ in the provision of services,” Deputy Pringle said, and asked the Taoiseach to ensure “that our maternity hospitals will make the reasonable decision to allow partners to be present at the most important times in a pregnancy, at least at the birth and the 20-week scan.”

Speaking later, Deputy Pringle said he will follow up on Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s statement that work is under way to a consistent national approach to visitor restrictions in maternity hospitals.

Deputy Pringle said: “How long is that going to take? I will continue to watch over this issue to see that it’s done.”