The presenting partners returned to the show on Tuesday morning after enjoying an extended summer break, with Willoughby jetting off to Portugal with her family.
Willoughby, 39, and Schofield, 58, who have been practising social distancing measures on set since March, told viewers that they were finally able to hug each other thanks to a modified plastic sheet.
The sheet, which Willoughby dubbed the “cuddle curtain,” had special arm coverings to allow the pair to put their arms around one another without actually touching.
The pair were able to hug through a 'cuddle curtain' (ITV / This Morning)
“Is it weird that I’m really excited about this?” Willoughby told her colleague, before joking: “If you’d have done this this time last year, I’d have thought you were some kind of weirdo, however this year, I’m all over this.”
The pair then estimated that they had not hugged each other since March, as This Morning guest Dec Donnelly described their embrace as “a bizarre heartwarming moment.”
The pair hadn't hugged since March (ITV / This Morning)
Both stars said they “[didn’t] want to let go” before Willoughby suggested that they should keep the plastic sheet in the studio just in case.
The pair also discussed how they’d spent their summer break, with Schofield revealing that he has filmed a new series of The Cube which is set to air on ITV this autumn.
Willoughby also revealed that she had to quarantine for 14 days ahead of returning to the studio after her Portuguese break.
“I did just get out of quarantine so I’m like, ‘there are real people around!’” she told Schofield, adding that her holiday was “worth it” despite the “bad timing.”
This Morning airs weekdays from 10am on ITV.