Impact on particular groups

AuthorEuropean Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (EU body or agency)
Pages27-32
27
IMPACT ON PARTICULAR
GROUPS
As reported in Bulletins #1, #2 and #3, COVID-19 and the measures to contain
it affect people’s fundamental rights in different ways, often exacerbating
existing inequalities. FRA asked the FRANET researchers in each Member
State to select three social groups particularly affected by the pandemic in
their country. This section summarises the main developments for the groups
that featured most prominently in the country studies, namely:
people in institutional settings;
older persons;
people with disabilities;
Roma and Travellers;
detainees;
victims of domestic violence.
. PEOPLE IN INSTITUTIONAL SETTINGS
FRA’s Bulletins have continuously highlighted the particular effect COVID-19
measures have on older persons and persons with disabilities living in institutional
settings. To curb the risk of infection, almost all Member States prohibited visits
to residential care homes during the f‌irst phase of the pandemic. As reported
in Bulletin#3, governments began easing such restrictions from May.
In Spain, complaints and lawsuits against nursing home management and
political-administrative authorities commenced. Media reported that about
300families whose relatives died in care homes joined collective complaints
against regional governments and the facilities.
3.1.1 Visiting restrictions eased but challenges remain
In June, about half of EU Member States further eased restrictions on visits.
For example, in France, updated guidelines reconciled strict health measures
with the free choice of people to see their relatives. Similarly, Finland updated
guidelines on visits to healthcare and social welfare units, emphasising that
decisions should be based on individual considerations rather than absolute
bans. Some countries, such as Bulgaria and Sweden,5 kept visitation bans in
place, however, or – as in Croatia – reintroduced them after a rise in infections.
Groups in some Member States criticised visitation guidelines as too complex.
A patient advocacy group in Luxembourg demanded clearer guidelines,
reporting that despite the general easing of restrictions in some institutions,
visits were diff‌icult to arrange and requirements were often “too harsh or
cumbersome”.

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