Visiting remains suspended across all North Cumbria Integrated Care hospital sites, including community hospitals, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and infection rates rising.

The only exceptions are for patients who are receiving end-of-life care, birthing partners in maternity units and parents or legal guardians in the children’s unit.

Visits will also be looked at on a case-by-case basis if there are exceptional clinical or social reasons, but visitors must be immediate family members or carers only.

Dr Clive Graham, the trust’s director of infection prevention and control, said: “Visiting remains suspended as infection rates are currently on the rise in the community.

“It is really important that people follow the guidelines to protect our patients and also our staff who we need to be well in order to care for those who need their help.

“We understand that people will be disappointed by not being able to visit loved ones in hospital and we would appeal to the public for their support and co-operation at this difficult time.

“All patients staying in our hospitals do have access to our free NHS Wi-Fi that is accessible through smart phones which they can use to keep in touch with family and friends.

"We also have iPads that we can lend to patients to help them stay in touch and a Messages to Loved Ones service where messages can be delivered to a patient on a ward.”

Face masks must also be worn on all hospital sites.

Anyone over the age of 11 is required to wear a face covering when visiting, including parents or guardians bringing children.