Actress Ruthie Henshall criticized the coronavirus restrictions that “kept love and hope away” after her elderly mother died in a nursing home.

The West End star said it was “completely unnecessary” and “absolutely inhuman” not to allow family visits.

As of last Tuesday, residents who leave home to go for a walk or visit a loved one’s garden no longer have to isolate for two weeks when they return.

The Department of Health and Welfare (DHSC) removed the requirement to only conduct low-risk outdoor visits after the charity Johns Campaign threatened legal action.

Ms. Henshall announced the death of her 88-year-old mother on Instagram on Tuesday.

She wrote: “My beautiful Mama Gloria passed away very peacefully this morning.

“I managed to take care of her for a few short weeks. It was my honor and my privilege.

“If the government had passed their leadership law, my sisters would have seen her more than a few times before losing her.

“Just recently, my sister Susan was visiting the window because she couldn’t get an indoor visit for three weeks.

“Shame on every government official and nursing home provider who chose to ignore the human rights of residents and just shut the hatches.

“You kept love and hope away.

Ms. Henshall joined protesters in Parliament Square last week Photo credit: Dominic Lipinski / PA

“I’m devastated. I hope it was worth keeping them behind closed doors.”

According to the rule changes, residents must be accompanied by either a staff member or one of their two nominated visitors during visits and pursue social distancing throughout.

They cannot meet in groups or go inside unless toilets are in use. Public transport should be avoided whenever possible.

It is assumed that a resident can eat outside in a restaurant or cafe with their caregivers or a nominated visitor if they agree to do so in advance with the care home.

Ms. Henshall joined a group of activists in Parliament Square last week to petition all nursing home residents in the event of another wave of the coronavirus pandemic, signed by more than 300,000 people, the Right to have one essential visitor.

Regarding her sister Susan’s inability to visit her mother before she died, she said, “This was totally and totally unnecessary.

“Absolutely inhuman for these beautiful residents who don’t really live much.”