Family members will be able to visit their relatives in care homes from Wednesday if they have received a negative COVID-19 test.
The Department of Health and Social Care has said that more than a million tests will be sent to care home providers over the next month to allow safe indoor visits.
Visitors should minimise contact as much as possible and wear personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect their loved ones, the Department of Health said.
“I know how difficult it has been for people in care homes and their families to be apart for so long,” health secretary Matt Hancock said adding that the separation has been painful but has protected residents and staff from this deadly virus.
The number of tests kits being supplied has been modelled to allow up to 2 visitors per resident, visiting twice a week.
Care homes will manage the number of visits to ensure they can enable safe visiting and the programme will be continuously reviewed as it is rolled out. Visitors will still be expected to follow infection prevention and control procedures. Visitors should minimise contact as much as possible to reduce the risk of transmission.