She added: “We do not want people who need our help to decide not to come to one of our hospices because of fear of contracting the virus, or not being able to have any visitors.”

The charity is concerned whether its hospices will be able to operate safely while supporting the increasing number of people who will need palliative care this winter.

It is also calling for weekly testing of a close relative or carer who will be able to provide support to the patient when they visit.

Regular weekly testing would help prevent staff without symptoms unknowingly spreading Covid-19 and ensure staff levels are sufficient to keep hospices fully open.

Marie Curie said the different approaches to testing across the UK is leading to confusion and means asymptomatic staff are not always identified early.

In some areas all staff are tested when there is an outbreak, but in others only those with symptoms are tested, it said.

The charity fears that concerns about contracting the virus, a lack of testing among staff and visiting restrictions, will mean people needing help will be reluctant to use hospices.

In response, a Department of Health and Social Care spokesman, said: “We are hugely grateful for the work hospices have undertaken during this challenging period, and we have made up to £200 million available to support them this year.

“Anyone working in healthcare with symptoms can access testing as a priority, but we must target testing capacity at the areas that need it most.

“In March we had capacity for 2,000 tests a day, by the end of this month it will be at 500,000 and we will continue to expand availability where we can.”

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