VISITING across all North Wales hospitals has been suspended to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

From Thursday, March 26, visiting patients who are not infected with Novel Coronavirus will only be permitted in the following circumstances:

One parent or guardian for paediatric (Children’s Ward) inpatients and neonatal wards.

One visitor at a time for an agreed amount of time to patients receiving end of life care. Permission from the ward sister or charge nurse must be obtained in advance.

One birthing partner from the same household to support a woman in labour.

Other exceptions may be provided in special circumstances at the discretion of ward sister/charge nurses or managers, based on advice from the infection prevention control Team.

These restrictions apply to Glan Clwyd Hospital in Bodelwyddan, Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor, Wrexham Maelor Hospital and a mental health wards and community hospitals,

No visitors or birthing partners should attend hospitals if they are unwell or displaying the symptoms of Covid-19, which are a new, continuous cough and high temperature.

No visitors who are pregnant, under the age of 12 years, or are deemed to fall into a high risk category will be permitted

Gill Harris, executive director of nursing and midwifery, said: “We understand the importance of patients staying in contact with their loved ones. But the safety of our patients and staff is paramount, and it is crucial that we take all reasonable steps to minimise the risk of infection in our hospitals.

“If you can’t be there in person, we do offer free WiFi throughout our hospitals. So for those with access to smartphones or tablets, we would encourage virtual visiting as a great way to keep in touch, where appropriate.”

All visitors must adhere to the social distancing guidelines as far as possible and must adhere to strict hand hygiene and infection control precautions on arriving and leaving.

Visitors must not visit any other patients or hospital facilities en route.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board is encouraging family and friends of patients under their care to consider alternative ways of keeping in touch, including the use of the hospitals’ free WiFi to video call.

Anyone with a suspected coronavirus illness should not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital and only contact NHS 111 if they feel they cannot cope with their symptoms at home, their condition gets worse, or their symptoms do not get better after seven days.