A rescue package of £546 million to protect care homes from the threat of Covid-19 during the winter has been unveiled by the Government.

The funds will be used to ensure staff are limited to working in one home and compensated for any reduced hours, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

Care home workers will also be given financial support to ensure they have sufficient personal protective equipment and are able to minimise their use of public transport.

“Be in no doubt we’re going to do absolutely all we can to stop the spread in care homes,” Mr Johnson told The Sun.

“And I’m afraid it’s an incredibly difficult thing, but we are going to have to place some restrictions on people, visitors being able to go into care homes.”

(PA)

His words came as stricter rules are predicted for the North East of England, where cases are on the rise.

An announcement is expected on Thursday on new measures which are expected to come into effect from midnight for the region.

The Chronicle Live website reported that care home visits would be restricted to essential visitors.

Mr Johnson admitted in the Commons on Wednesday that the Government was “concerned about the rates of infection in care homes” and promised a new action plan.

It followed Labour’s call on Monday for a “clear winter plan” to protect care homes amid signs they are experiencing a rise in coronavirus cases.