A petition started by a Southern Highlands family has called on the Victorian government to let them see their critically-ill son.
Rose Treverton and Donald Borg aren't allowed to visit their son Ben Sylo, due to COVID restrictions in the intensive care unit at The Alfred Hospital, Prahan.
Currently families are only allowed to see their loved ones in the ICU when they are in their final hours.
The petition, which has gained more than 2400 signatures, has called on the Victorian government to change the visiting rules.
The family has praised the work of hospital staff but would like to see a safe way for families to visit their critically-ill loved ones while they're alive.
"We are asking for your help to have Victoria's chief medical officer Brett Sutton change the rules so that we - and many families like us - may visit our loved one," the family wrote.
"Currently none of us - his parents, siblings, family or partner - are allowed to see Ben in ICU, except for special circumstances.
"And in the current COVID climate, special circumstances are only when it's time to go.
"We fully understand that COVID restrictions are in place to prevent further spread within the ICU ward, which is the last thing we want.
"But we also believe there needs to be a balanced approach to granting access to patients, especially when there may be limited windows of opportunity to see them."
A spokesperson from Alfred Health said previously told the Southern Highland News they understood "what a challenging time this is for families".
"The visitor restrictions at The Alfred, which are common to many Victorian hospitals right now, are there to protect our vulnerable patients and our staff while there is a sustained level of COVID-19 in the community," the spokesperson said.
"As visitors are only permitted under special circumstances, our staff are working hard to maintain the connection between patients and loved ones.
"Daily briefings and telehealth sessions also ensure families up-to-date and involved in care decisions."
The spokesperson also said the Alfred ICU is one of the largest in Victoria with 50 beds and cared for many of the state's sickest patients.
"Clinical staff connect with the Mr Sylo's family at each shift, and offer telehealth sessions daily. Other units are also providing remote support."
Visit https://www.change.org/p/daniel-andrews-change-icu-visiting-rules to view the petition.