Every care home resident in the country will be allowed one visitor from the March 8 in plans announced by the government.

In plans designed to cautiously help bring families back together following the Covid-19 pandemic, a resident will be allowed to hold hands with one named visitor, as long as the guest has been tested for Covid-19 before entry and is wearing full PPE.

“I know how important visiting a loved one is and I’m pleased we will soon be in a position for people to be carefully and safely reunited with loved ones who live in care homes,” said Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

“This is just the first step to getting back to where we want to be. We need to make sure we keep the infection rate down, to allow greater visiting in a step-by-step way in the future.”

The news is set to be part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap to shape the future of the country following the national lockdown, with more details expected to be announced next week.

“One of the hardest things during this pandemic has been seeing families desperate to be reunited with their loved ones kept apart and I absolutely want to bring them back together, added Minister for Care Helen Whately.

“Throughout this pandemic we have sought clinical guidance on how visits can be conducted safely.

“We had to restrict the majority of visiting when the new variant was discovered but we have done all we can to enable visits to continue in some form. That includes providing funding towards costs of screens and PPE.”

The government also revealed they will continue to provide free tests and PPE to support the new plan having already distributed £1.1 billion from the infection control fund throughout the pandemic.