Queen Elizabeth Hospital and University Hospital Lewisham will no longer allow any visitors onto any adult patient wards, part of new heavier visiting restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus.

The restrictions, which came into affect at 10pm, Monday March 23, will ban visitors to adult wards, restrict maternity visitors the birthing partners and children wards to one adult visitor at a time.

Instead of visiting, family members are being asked to keep in touch via telephone or video call wherever possible, and Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust are looking at other additional ways to ensure patients can contact friends, relatives and carers.

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Under the visiting arrangements, both hospitals will no longer be allowing visitors to any of the adult inpatient wards.

But special arrangements can be made to accommodate visits to patients who are critically ill or nearing the end of their life.

Children in hospital aged under 16 will still be allowed visitors, limited to one adult at a time, and women in labour in the hospital's maternity wards will still be able to bring a birthing partner with them.

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The trust said it had been an "incredibly difficult decision to make, but as a Trust we feel these measures are necessary to keep our patients and our staff safe."

"Thank you for your understanding at this time. We will update on any further changes in due course."

Whilst more drastic, this is not the first restrictions put in place by the trust in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Visitors were at first limited to two 'next-of-kin', but were restricted on March 12 to just one adult visitor, and no children.

If you have a scheduled outpatient appointment at either hospital, please attend as normal unless advised otherwise by the trust, or if you have a fever an/or continuous cough.

The trust said: "We are advising members of the public if they have a dry cough or a high temperature please not to visit at all.

"If you are concerned that you have symptoms of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) then you can find out more on the NHS website."