NSW hospital rules are changing to allow certain patients to have visitors, which is great news for those of us excruciatingly sitting on the sidelines while our loved ones battle ill health alone.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard revealed on Wednesday that seriously ill, dying and maternity patients can have visitors under certain conditions, which previously was not allowed.

The move comes after heaps of backlash at the original restrictions, with one woman receiving an apology from the premier after she was kicked out of a hospital as her mother died.

The three groups can now have visitors if it’s “beneficial for the patient’s emotional or physical wellbeing” and the visitors are double vaccinated or a medical exemption.

Visitors are also required to not have arrived from overseas in the past week or be “high risk” close contact, which is someone who has spent four or more hours with a COVID-19 case.

“Ultimately we want to see here is as people are coming to the end of their life, their family members are able to spend those special moments with them,” NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet told Channel 7.

“From time to time, we have had situations which have been quite heartbreaking when people have not been able to be with their mother and father as they have passed away.

“We believe the changes we have made today will ensure there is a presumption of compassion and understanding … and with caution in relation to making sure we don’t have COVID outbreaks in hospitals.”

Perrottet said it’s possible other patients in NSW hospitals could be allowed visitors too, but it would depend on the circumstances.

“[Seriously ill, maternity and dying patients] are the main focus and obviously other areas where there are substantial mental health issues,”Perrottet said.

“But is about getting the balance right and is a difficult balance right. We want to make sure that those people who are sick and dying have that support from their loved ones.”