Covid restrictions eased

Blue icon of a person wearing a facemask

Restrictions on mask-wearing, social distancing and patient-visiting on site have been eased in our hospitals, in line with the current lower risk from Covid.

In almost all areas of the Trust, mask wearing and social distancing is now optional rather than mandatory for staff, visitors and patients, with the exception of some settings where we are caring for higher-risk patients.

The public can visit inpatients in line with pre-pandemic visiting rules, apart from in Maternity Services where some restrictions will apply to protect vulnerable babies. These rules are:

Adult inpatients

  • Visitors are permitted anytime, a limit of 2 visitors at the bedside at any one time.
  • Visitors are asked not to visit a patient in hospital if they feel unwell. This includes symptoms of Covid-19, sickness, diarrhoea, fever, sore throat or flu.
  • Mask wearing is optional for visitors and individuals accompanying patients to outpatient appointments or the emergency department, except for higher-risk settings.
  • Face masks will be made available for patients and visitors who opt to wear them while in our hospitals.
  • Read our full adult inpatient visitor policy here.

Maternity Services

  • Women can attend all Early Pregnancy Assessment Clinic (EPAC), maternity and antenatal appointments with one other adult.
  • Women can be supported by one birth partner throughout induction and early labour.
  • In established labour Women can be supported by two birth partners in all of our birth settings.
  • One birth partner and one visitor are permitted from 10am – 9pm.
  • Read our full maternity services visitor policy here.

Steve Hams, Chief Nursing Officer, said “We have taken a cautious approach to infection prevention and control measures to help protect our patients and our staff over the last two years. We now feel it is safe to ease the restrictions we have in place, but we will keep these in careful review. All of these changes will bring us into line with new NHS guidance reflecting significantly reduced rates of Covid and lower risks.”