Thursday 21 May 2020 1:09 AM UTC
LONDON May 22: Family members of care workers, NHS cleaners and porters who die on the frontline against Covid-19 will be able to stay in the UK, Priti Patel confirmed today.
The Home Secretary said they will be given indefinite leave to remain in recognition of their loved ones’ “ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of saving the lives of others”. The scheme was initially set up for NHS workers such as doctors and nurses treating people with the deadly virus.
But it was later expanded to cover thousands more staff battling to control the spread of the disease.
Around 8 per cent of social care home workers are from outside the EU, while many more work as hospital cleaners, porters, security guards and catering staff who are regarded as key workers but do not qualify for the bereavement scheme.
Ms Patel said: “Every death in this crisis is a tragedy, and sadly some NHS support staff and social care workers have made the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of saving the lives of others.
“When I announced the introduction of the bereavement scheme in April, I said we would continue to work across government to look at ways to offer further support.
“Today we are extending the scheme to NHS support staff and social care workers.
“We want to ensure families have the support they need and so this will be effective immediately and retrospectively.
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