THE Prime Minister has announced he will unveil a rescue package of £546 million to protect care homes from the threat of Covid-19 during the winter.

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

In March, The Argus reported on how agency workers might unwittingly be spreading the virus from home to home.

The concerns were put to the Health Secretary by this paper at the nation’s coronavirus press briefing in June.

Hove MP Peter Kyle, who raised these concerns in Parliament after an outbreak in a Hove nursing home, said: “I first asked the Prime Minister for care homes to have a dedicated workforce back in March.

“This money is vital to keep residents, carers and staff safe and Covid-free, but will only be effective if it is matched by a functional testing regime and ample supply of PPE.”

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.

Mr Johnson said: “Be in no doubt we’re going to do absolutely all we can to stop the spread in care homes.

“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.”

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

Mr Johnson admitted in the Commons on Wednesday 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.