The Government is being called on to ensure Covid-19 restrictions are adjusted to allow partners to be present in delivery rooms and during scans.

Visitor restrictions are varied across Irish hospitals due to Covid-19.

The policy is under continual review at Letterkenny University Hospital. From the end of August, the new visiting times allowed the birth partner (or next of kin) to visit the maternity ward for one single two-hour visit post-delivery between 8am and 8.30pm. Outside of these times, the partner will be allowed a 30 minute visit the following day. In the event of a mother and baby staying in hospital for more than two days, partners will be offered a two hour visit.

Independent TD for Donegal Thomas Pringle raised the issue of maternity ward restrictions again this week and said: “When I addressed this in the Dáil some time back, the Taoiseach said work was underway to a consistent national approach to visitor restrictions in maternity hospitals.

“We’re still waiting. Women and their partners are still waiting. This must be addressed as a matter of urgency. The delay is disgraceful.

Deputy Pringle concluded: “World Health Organisation guidelines state that Covid-19 should not impact on a woman’s right to have a partner of her choice with her throughout pregnancy.

“This Government cannot wait any longer to make sure women in Ireland have this right.”