Nursing home residents can receive two visits a week from today.
They will be allowed the visits on general compassionate grounds, once there's a high level of vaccination in the facility.
There’s no requirement to limit each visit to less than one hour.
Sage Advocacy says the country's 30,000 nursing home residents and their families are looking forward to safe, meaningful reunions together.
It says visiting arrangements have been a key issue since last March when Covid-19 was first reported in nursing homes.
Since then, residents have had limited or often no contact at all with their loved ones.
It says the new guidance today is a very welcome first step and it's urging nursing homes to respect and comply with the latest guidance.