VISITING restrictions will remain in place at hospitals and healthcare settings across Herefordshire and Worcestershire despite low case numbers.

The restrictions were introduced at the end of March to help protect patients and staff and to minimise the spread of coronavirus.

Although local cases remain low, healthcare leaders from across both counties have decided to stick with the current restrictions.

This means visiting at Hereford County Hospital, Worcestershire Royal Hospital, The Alexandra Hospital, Kidderminster Hospital and Treatment Centre, community hospitals and mental health units across both counties remain closed to visitors.

While the restrictions have been in place, hospitals across Herefordshire and Worcestershire have rolled out virtual visiting where families have been able to keep in touch with loved ones in hospital via video.

Dr Ian Tait, chair of NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG said: “While we understand the valuable role visitors play in a patient’s recovery, the safety of our patients and staff is the top priority.

“Even though local case numbers are low we are taking a cautious approach and visiting remains restricted, therefore please continue to make use of the great technology available to voice and video call your loved ones to stay in touch.”

Exceptions to the restrictions also remain unchanged and include families visiting relatives receiving end of life car, maternity visits by a birthing partner only (birthing partners can be present during the birth), and the parents of paediatric patients.

Patients visiting for an appointment are asked to come alone if at all possible, and anyone attending a local healthcare setting such as A&E or an outpatient appointment, is also required to wear a face mask orcovering before entering buildings. Posters and notices will be on display on entrances informing people to wear their mask or covering.

Visitors to Hereford County Hospital will have a mask provided, while those attending appointments in Worcestershire hospitals will be asked to bring their own covering, with masks provided where this isn’t possible.