A hospital has closed for visitors after an outbreak of the highly contagious norovirus.

Princess Royal University Hospital in Orpington announced the closure at around 4.30pm today (January 2).

A spokeswoman told News Shopper today (January 3) that the wards remain closed. 

It is unclear when they will be reopened. 

The message yesterday said: “We have taken the decision to close all wards to visitors at the Princess Royal University Hospital (PRUH) because of an outbreak of Norovirus in the community and some cases in the hospital. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

"Our top priority is the safety and wellbeing of all patients so we are taking this precaution to prevent the virus from spreading.

"In exceptional circumstances, such as if your relative is extremely unwell, we will allow visiting, but only with the express permission of senior clinicians on the ward. In these circumstances, please phone the switchboard on 01689 863000 and ask the operator to put you through to the ward your relative is on. A member of ward staff will be able to let you know if you can visit.

"We are carrying out regular deep cleans of all wards, and staff are being extra vigilant around hand washing and other infection control procedures.

"The situation is being reviewed regularly.”

No to norovirus: Everything you need to know about beating the winter vomiting bug

Norovirus, sometimes known as the ‘winter vomiting bug’ is the most common stomach bug in the UK, affecting people of all ages. It is highly contagious and is transmitted by contact with contaminated surfaces, an infected person, or consumption of contaminated food or water.

Outbreaks are common in semi-enclosed environments such as hospitals, nursing homes, schools and cruise ships and also occur in restaurants and hotels.

The virus is usually mild and lasts for one to two days.