WINDSOR, ONT. -- Friends and family with loved ones in long-term care homes can now visit in person.

"It’s really a time we’ve all been waiting for. A chance to reunite a family and visitors to long-term care residents," said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minster of Long-Term Care.

The province made the announcement on Friday allowing outdoor visits beginning this weekend.

"It will be an outside visits. It will align with our reopening of Ontario staging and we are making sure we follow the public health guidelines. It’s a maximum of five people so the resident and then two essential care givers plus two general visitors. This is something that I know families have been waiting so long and I’m so grateful the time has come," Fullerton said.

Fullerton said homes have been anticipating the visits for some time.

"Working together with the homes and the sector to make sure they can do this if they are able and of course the majority of homes we have full confidence they are going to be able to do this this weekend and there may be some for a specific unique reasons to them may have to take a little longer but we understand there are circumstances in some particular areas that are unique to them."

Fullerton warns that people still have to be cautious and make sure to follow the public health guidelines.

"This is not a time to relax the social distancing or the masking. Please follow the guidelines and I think we will all come through this as time goes on and I’m just so pleased that we’ve been able to reunite loved ones in long-term care."

Many of the homes CTV spoke with today say they are excited for the change, but say they need more time to prepare.

Before visiting someone in a long-term home, it is suggested that you call first to confirm your visit.