Care homes in Scotland are set to allow visitors in for the first time in 2021.
From today, regular visiting will resume in care homes, with residents allowed to have two designated visitors each.
Each designated visitor will be able to see their relative once a week, the Scottish Government says, due to the progress of the vaccination programme.
Care home visiting has been tightly restricted during the pandemic.
However, data released last week showed care home coronavirus deaths had fallen by 62% in the last three weeks, with the figure cited by Nicola Sturgeon as the first “hard evidence” of the vaccine’s impact.
Almost all residents have received the jab, along with 92% of care home staff.
The government says that with the extra protection in place, the greater risk to residents’ wellbeing is from a lack of family contact.
Visitors will be “strongly recommended” to take a coronavirus test on-site and will have to wear PPE.
Cathie Russell, who has been campaigning with the Care Home Relatives Scotland group, said: “We look forward to working with care home providers, public health and oversight teams to ensure that the new guidance allows residents to enjoy meaningful contact with their closest relatives and friends once more.”