To stop COVID-19 being spread in care homes which were badly hit during the initial outbreak of the disease last year, the government imposed tight restrictions on access during the latest strict lockdown which began in January.

Last month, measures were eased to allow each care home resident one indoor visitor, and from April 12, this will be doubled. Parents will be allowed to bring babies and very young children, allowing some people the chance to meet the newest members of their family for the first time.

“I’m particularly pleased to allow residents to have more visitors, including grandchildren, given the isolation and concern felt by so many this past year,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement.

Visitors will have to wear personal protective equipment and provide a negative COVID test result.