The families of migrant care workers who have fallen victim to COVID-19 will be allowed to remain in the country indefinitely.
The Government has announced that the scheme, which previously only covered doctors and nurses, has been extended to NHS support staff and social care workers ‘in recognition of their tireless dedication and selflessness’.
Under the bereavement scheme, which takes effect immediately and can be retrospectively applied, the families and dependants of workers who die as result of contracting coronavirus are offered indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
The Government has described the issue as ‘complex’, as many workers are covered by generic visas, which mean they do not need to inform the Home Office of where they are working and their employers in the care sector may not be visa sponsors.
A team will work directly with trusts and employers to identify the families to whom the newly extended scheme will apply.
Home Secretary Priti 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.
‘We want to ensure families have the support they need and so this will be effective immediately and retrospectively.’