Four men have been banned from every hospital in England after sharing videos from inside NHS corridors at the height of the pandemic.

The group were sharing videos online claiming the Covid-19 pandemic had been overstated, reports the Kidderminster Shuttle.

A criminal investigation was launched after videos appeared online which were filmed inside the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch.

Other nearby hospitals were featured before the footage was deleted.

The four men – a 27-year-old, a 31-year-old and two other men aged 34 - were arrested on January 12 this year on suspicion of causing a public nuisance.

The individuals will only be allowed to visit hospital for medical reasons in future under the terms of their community protection notices.

West Mercia Police also issued fixed-penalty notice fines for breaching Covid-19 lockdown regulations.

Inspector Lee Page, from West Mercia Police, said: “During the first few days of 2021 the NHS was close to being overwhelmed at the peak of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“West Mercia Police received numerous complaints from concerned members of the public and medical staff about the actions of a group of individuals who were live-streaming from hospital sites in Worcestershire, protesting that the pandemic was a hoax.

“The men were not wearing face coverings or socially distancing and some of them were challenging hospital staff, accusing them of spreading fake news and claiming there was no national emergency and no pandemic.

“The behaviour of these people disrupted the running of the hospitals, tied up valuable resources and caused alarm and distress to patients and staff, some of whom made official complaints to police.

“As a result of their activities, West Mercia Police issued written warnings to all four people under Part 4 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014.

“These warnings directed them not to enter any hospital in England unless for medical reasons, as well as prohibiting a number of other anti-social activities.

“Officers also reported all those involved for fixed-penalty notices due to breaches of the health protection regulations.”

He added: “I hope this case highlights that although everyone is entitled to freedom of speech and freedom of expression, when this negatively impacts on the health of NHS staff, patients and the wider community, we will not hesitate to take enforcement action to keep the public safe.”