Relatives of care home residents with dementia should be treated as key workers, leading charities say.
In a letter to the health secretary, they write that the care given by family members is "essential" to residents' mental and physical health.
They argue the current limits on visitors have had "damaging consequences" and they want visits to resume safely, with relatives given the same access to care homes and coronavirus testing as staff.
Signed by the bosses of leading charities including Dementia UK and the Alzheimer's Society, the letter calls on the government to "urgently" address what it calls the "hidden catastrophe" happening in care homes.
The charities say that this "enforced separation" has caused a "deterioration" in residents' mental and physical health, particularly for those living with dementia - who make up more than 70% of the population of care homes.
Source: BBC News, 9 July 2020