Care home residents in Gedling borough will be allowed two regular visitors indoors from April 12 in a major easing of restrictions.
Currently people in care homes can have just one face-to-face visitor, but this will be extended to two later this month.
They will be able to hold hands- but visitors must be tested and wear PPE.
Visitors will also be able to bring babies and young children with them, meaning some residents will get to meet new grandchildren for the first time. Babies and very young children will not count as one of the visitors. However, the age of young children included has yet to be announced.
Care minister Helen Whately said: “Increasing care home visiting is a top priority as we ease Covid restrictions. I know just how much these visits mean to residents and their loved ones.
“I’m pleased we were able to introduce more meaningful visits to care homes in March. Seeing friends and family reunited has been incredibly moving. Thank you to all of our amazing care workers for helping to make this possible.
“We want to go further, so we’re allowing more visitors at this next stage of the roadmap – and our aim is to make visiting care homes as normal as possible by the summer. We know how cruel this virus can be in care homes so we must continue to follow the science and data, but things are looking up.”
Boris Johnson said last night: “Reuniting family and friends has been a priority each time restrictions have eased, and the next step will be no different.
“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.
“Thanks to the tireless work of care home staff, and the success of the vaccine rollout, we’re able to increase the number of visits in a safe and controlled way.”
The drop in community infection rates, and the successful rollout of vaccinations in care homes has meant the increase in care home visiting planned in the roadmap can go now ahead as long as infection prevention and control measures remain in place.
The government said further opportunities for relatives and contacts to have outdoor, pod and screen visits will continue in line with the published guidance which has been in place during lockdown.