NHS FIFE have announced that will suspend all visiting at its hospital sites.

The suspension, which will apply to all hospitals across the Kingdom, will take effect - indefinitely - from midnight tomorrow (March 24) to limit the spread of Covid-19, and to protect vulnerable patients, and ensure staff safety.

NHS Fife Nursing Director, Helen Buchanan, said: "In these unprecedented times we are having to take big decisions, often at short notice, to protect those most at risk.

"Our staff are working tirelessly in preparation for an expected rise in Covid-19 cases and whilst stopping visiting may ordinarily seem drastic, the challenges facing us over the coming months make such actions necessary and will enable us to continue to provide a good standard care to those who need it most.

"We do not know how long these arrangements will remain in place it will likely be for a number of weeks.

"In the meantime, we would encourage visitors this evening and tomorrow to consider bringing in technology, such as phones or tablets, which will help ensure patients remain connected to family and friends, along with other essential items."

Suspended visiting will applied with the exception of the neonatal unit, maternity services, children’s ward, and hospices.

In the Maternity Ward and Delivery Units, one visitor/ birthing partner is permitted, and must remain within the maternity area at all times.

In the Neonatal/ SpecialCare Baby Unit, only parents are permitted to visit and should remain with the child at all times.

In the Children’s Ward, only parents are permitted to visit and should remain with the child at all times.

Visiting arrangements in hospices, and end of life care, are unchanged.