Hospital to keep Covid rules beyond July 19 easing

League of Friends shop at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn reopens

Covid rules will remain in place beyond July 19 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. - Credit: QEH

A Norfolk hospital has confirmed it will be keeping its current Covid rules in place – despite the planned easing of lockdown from July 19.

On Monday, health secretary Sajid Javid said domestic vaccine passports and face masks would be encouraged, but not compulsory, going forward.

Legal restrictions on large gatherings will be removed, social distancing measures will be scrapped and the order to work from home where possible will be lifted.

But the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn has said it will require all patients, visitors and staff to continue to adhere to the rules currently in place.

Social distancing, hand washing and face coverings will remain mandatory.

Visiting rules currently allow one nominated visitor per inpatient, who can visit for one hour per day. Outpatient appointments and A&E visits should be attended alone.

Exceptions to both these rules apply to people accompanying a child or vulnerable patient, or to those who are critically ill or receiving end-of-life care.

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Where people are unable to visit relatives in person, virtual visits can be arranged through phone calls, video chats and messages.

QEH chief nurse Alice Webster said: "There is optimism as the country approaches its final stage of easing restrictions on July 19. However the pandemic is not over and, in line with other hospitals in the region, QEH is taking this next step very carefully.

"The safety of our patients, their families and our staff is our top priority and we are appealing to visitors to respect our rules. We will continue to regularly review these measures which are in place to protect everybody."

Upon arrival at the hospital, staff, patients and visitors must wash or sanitise their hands, while this must be repeated when arriving on a ward.

Face coverings must been worn at all times when entering and moving around the hospital. Extra PPE is needed when in high-risk areas and when coming into contact with anyone known or suspected to have Covid-19.

Visitors must also cover and cuts on their hands, and provide details to NHS test and trace.

Anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19 or who is displaying symptoms should not visit.