Covid-19: guide for visitors

Mask wearing for the general public

From 22 August 2022, mask wearing is no longer a universal requirement in all of our hospitals and other healthcare centres.

However, if tolerated, you should still wear a mask if:

  • You have respiratory symptoms (e.g. coughing, sneezing or sore throat)
  • If you are clinically vulnerable to infection or you are being cared for in a vulnerable patient care area (our colleagues will be able to inform you of this, and will provide you with a mask if needed)
  • You are accompanying patients with respiratory symptoms (for example, to ED or outpatients) or visiting vulnerable patients / an area that contains vulnerable patients
  • You have a personal preference to wear a mask
  • You are asked to wear one by a member of staff in certain areas or circumstances to protect yourself or other patients.

In the future there may need to be a return to universal mask wearing if COVID or flu numbers start to rise significantly, during an outbreak or if a new variant is found that causes increased hospitalisation.


Patient visiting

We are now able to return patient visiting arrangements on our wards to pre-pandemic guidance. Therefore, patients can have a maximum of two visitors at any one time in accordance with ward visiting times.

Please do not visit if you:

  • have respiratory symptoms/COVID-19 symptoms,
  • you have recently been in close contact with someone who has had COVID-19.
  • you have vomited or had diarrhoea within 72 hours.

In our Emergency Departments (ED) visiting will be limited to one person, to accompany a patient. In times when the number of patients in our EDs is high, visitors will be kindly requested to give up seats and space for patients.

In our maternity areas, visiting will return to a maximum of two per patient at any one time, excluding children.

No children should visit adult wards unless agreed in exceptional circumstances, for example end of life care.

In children’s areas, visiting will also return to a maximum of two per child.


Social distancing

We no longer have a requirement for social distancing in most of our healthcare settings. The exceptions will be clinics which see vulnerable patients – where they will be carrying out risk assessments.


Visiting times

Details of visiting times and guidance about who can visit are on our visiting times page.