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Care home visits must be allowed to continue in the second national lockdown, experts have said.

More than 60 organisations and experts have called on the Government to enable visits to care homes to continue.

They said banning visits is “intrinsically harmful” and causes “extreme anguish”.

In an open letter to Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock, the 60 organisations, researchers, professionals and bodies representing relatives, carers and providers, brought together by the National Care Forum, said that prohibiting visits denies residents their human rights.

They said that as the Government finalises regulations for the national lockdown, it must be the “default position” that care homes are open for visiting.

The letter states: “Care homes must be supported to enable visits by families and loved ones, now and in the future.

“We can no longer stand by and watch the erosion of people’s human rights and the impact of isolation through the effective blanket bans on visiting in care homes.

“We know that isolation caused by restrictions on visits from loved ones is intrinsically harmful and we have heard over and again the extreme anguish that this is causing.”

Signatories of the letter include academics, the charities Age UK, Alzheimer’s Society, the Care Provider Alliance, the British Geriatrics Society and the Royal Society of Public Health.