Following the announcement of the further restrictions on movement of the population last night, Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust has further restricted hospital visits from today.

The changes apply to the Royal Cornwall Hospital, St Michael’s Hospital and West Cornwall Hospital and the same steps have been taken in its community hospitals across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Director of nursing, midwifery and allied health professions, Kim O’Keeffe said: “We all know the number of cases of coronavirus is now rising more quickly and we need to fully support the social distancing advice.

“From today we will be stopping all visiting to our hospitals, except for end of life circumstances and where COVID-19 is not a factor.

“This is one of the hardest decisions we have had to make and we fully appreciate this will be extremely hard for patients and their families but we still have to keep all the patients we care for and our staff as safe as we possibly can. To this end we will continue to work hard with our health and social care colleagues to ensure that, where appropriate, wrap around care and support will be provided in people’s own homes.

“We’ll encourage patients to keep in contact through Facetime, Skype and similar options, wherever possible, using our free wifi.

“We also need to support our brilliant hospital staff across the NHS in Cornwall and give them the best chance to save lives and continue to focus all their efforts on the people they are caring for.”

From today, visits will be stopped to the trust's hospitals, except for:

• end of life (where COVID-19 is not a factor)

• children and neonatal unit – one parent at any one time

• maternity – one birth partner only.

In all cases visitors should call before coming to hospital to confirm their visit can go ahead.

A reminder for those where they have been given permission to visit:

Do not visit any health and care settings if you are unwell, especially if you:

• have a high temperature or a new, persistent cough or

• are vulnerable as a result of your medication or a chronic illness or

• are over 70 years of age or under 16 years of age

Restrictions will be regularly reviewed.