The resumption of visits by the "clown doctors" comes after more than a year of interruptions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ONV, which was visiting 17 hospitals across the country, was forced in March to temporarily pull back to follow the guidelines of the Directorate General of Health (DGS) and the requests of hospital administrations.

"It will be a big day for everyone. Not only do we celebrate Red Nose Day, our biggest annual fundraising campaign and a day when the spirit of Operation Red Nose is shared by the whole community, but we get this 'cherry on top of the cake' of being able to return to three hospitals that we miss so much," said Operation Red Nose director of communications and fundraising, Carlota Mascarenhas, quoted in the statement sent to Lusa.

Before the resumption of in-person visits was possible, ONV sought alternative solutions to bring the "clown doctors" closer to hospitalised children: between March and November last year it bet on TV ONV and the institution's YouTube channel, where daily videos were shared for young people to follow the adventures of the clown doctors from home.

ONV also created the project "Clowns on the Line", still active in collaborating hospitals that do not yet have the necessary conditions for a face-to-face return, whose objective is to allow real time interaction, using tablets, between the "clown doctors" and the hospitalised children.

The institution has also already returned in person to the Portuguese Oncology Institute (IPO) of Lisbon, the Alcoitão Rehabilitation Medicine Centre and the Garcia de Orta Hospital.