ACTRESS Ruthie Henshall has criticised coronavirus restrictions which were “utterly inhumane” after her elderly mother died in a care home.

The West End star, who has lived in Manningtree, said not allowing visits from loved ones during the past year was “totally unnecessary”.

Ms Henshall, 54, announced her 88-year-old mother’s death on Tuesday on social media.

She wrote: “My beautiful mummy Gloria passed away very peacefully.

“I managed to care for her for a few short weeks.

“It was my honour and my privilege.”

Ms Henshall was her mother’s essential care giver during her final weeks - she had dementia.


She said if the Government had changed its guidance her sisters would have seen their mum more than a couple of times before she died.

“Even recently my sister Susan was doing window visits because she wasn’t able to get an indoor visit for three weeks,” Ms Henshall added.

“Shame on every government official and care home provider that decided to ignore residents’ human rights and just batten down the hatches.

“You kept out love and hope.

“I am devastated.

“I hope it was worth the cost to keep them behind locked doors.”

Referring to her sister Susan’s inability to visit her mother in her Suffolk care home before her death, she said: “This was completely and totally unnecessary.

“Utterly inhumane to these beautiful residents who are not really living much of a life.”


Before her mother’s death Ms Henshall joined a group of campaigners in Parliament Square last week to deliver a petition calling for all care home residents to have the right to an essential visitor in the event of another wave of the coronavirus pandemic, which was signed by more than 300,000 people.

Ms Henshall, who began her professional stage career in 1986 and her debut performance was at the West Cliff Theatre in Clacton, has spoken about the petition on television recently.

The latest date from the Office for National Statistics, released yesterday, stated there have been 132 deaths at Colchester care homes involving Covid in the past year.

Since last Tuesday, care home residents leaving their home to go for a walk or to visit a loved one’s garden no longer have to isolate for two weeks on their return.

Under the rule changes, residents on visits out must be accompanied by either a member of staff or one of their two nominated visitors, and follow social distancing throughout.

They cannot meet in groups or go indoors, except for the use of toilets, and public transport should be avoided where possible.

It is understood a resident would be able to eat outside at a restaurant or cafe with their care worker or nominated visitor if they agree this with the care home in advance.