RESIDENTS at care homes will be reunited with loved ones as the government announces visits can go ahead again following the coronavirus lockdown.

Guidance, published this afternoon for England, states prior to visits being allowed in care homes in a local authority area, the director of public health will 'assess the suitability of a specified level of visiting guidance for that area'.

For Oxfordshire it will take into account the infection and growth rates of Covid-19 in the county.

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The government advice added: "To limit risk, where visits do go ahead, this should be limited to a single constant visitor, per resident, wherever possible.

"This is in order to limit the overall numbers of visitors to the care home and the consequent risk of infection."

It also said guidance for visiting older relatives in their own home 'is being considered and we will provide an update shortly'.

Health secretary Matt Hancock tweeted: "Thanks to the hard work to reduce the spread of coronavirus we are able, carefully and safely, to ease restrictions on visitors to care homes.

"I know how important this is. My heart goes out to those who haven’t seen loved ones in care homes for months. I hope this step helps people come back together."