Cumbria's public health director has confirmed that multiple members of staff at Carlisle's Cumberland Infirmary are included in the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak across the border.

Colin Cox, Cumbria's director of public health, has confirmed that a number of the now 11 confirmed Covid-19 cases across parts of Dumfries and Galloway are staff members at the Carlisle hospital.

The identification of the "cluster" of cases led the Scottish Government to keep in place the five mile travel restriction for leisure purposes across parts of the country, including the Gretna, Annan and Lockerbie areas.

Mr Cox, who is part of the cross-border incident management team set up to respond to the outbreak, said significant progress had been made on identifying and testing all those who may have come into contact with the 11 individuals confirmed to have Covid-19 in the area.

"They are fairly confident that they have traced all the contacts they needed to trace," he said.

"This is an incident that’s being managed by Dumfries and Galloway, because it’s centred on Annan and Gretna.

"It’s a Dumfries and Galloway-led incident, but the Cumbria public health team is involved because some of the people involved in it are employees of the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle."

A spokeswoman for the North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Trust said that all the infirmary's staff are subject to the national track and trace programme.

"The identification of the cluster highlights how effective the track and trace programme is and we are pleased that action is being taken to contain the cluster so quickly," the spokeswoman said.

Mr Cox stressed that the continued restrictions on travel for leisure purposes in place over the weekend meant that those living across the border in the affected areas could not travel to Carlisle.

"We know there were quite a lot of people from the Dumfries and Galloway area anticipating that they would come into Carlisle on Saturday."

On the issue of travel from Cumbria into the affected parts of Dumfries and Galloway, a Scottish Government spokesman said: "People wishing to travel into the area from Cumbria are free to do so, but should follow the Scottish Government’s guidance while there.

“Our advice is that people staying overnight in the designated part of Dumfries & Galloway, whether residents or visitors, should follow the advice to stay in the local area, broadly within five miles, when travelling for leisure and recreation.

“Travel to visit family members is not subject to the five mile restriction, but this exemption is specifically for visiting relatives, not friends.

"Meanwhile, visits to relatives in care homes will not be allowed over the weekend although this measure will be reviewed on Monday.”

Scotland's national clinical director, Professor Jason Leitch, announced yesterday that the Scottish Government was "reaching out" to all Cumberland Infirmary staff who live in Dumfries and Galloway.

"We’re reaching out to all the staff at the hospital who live in Dumfries and Galloway, with a Scottish residential postcode, and are offering them anything they need, in terms of testing if that’s appropriate, and other support if they wish to speak to us," he said.

He added that the 11th positive case, confirmed yesterday, was not connected to the other 10 but had an "independent connection" to the Cumberland Infirmary.

"It’s important to understand that the new positive in the last 24 hours is not connected to the other households in this outbreak in any way," he said.

"It has an independent connection to the Carlisle hospital.

"In that sense we’re counting it as one outbreak across both of the jurisdictions."