PATIENTS at Fife hospitals can now have two visitors after the region moved into level one.

The changes came into operation on Monday and allow two people from the same household to visit a person at the same time without the need for physical distancing.

If the two visitors are not from the same household and physical distancing cannot be maintained, visits can take place separately.

Face coverings are required at all times in the hospital buildings and a strict hand hygiene regime is in operationis to be carried out on arrival and on exiting as well as throughout the visit.

Physical distancing is to be adhered to in communal areas of the hospital wherever possible but families can have close contact, such as holding hands, when they are with the person they are supporting and will not normally be required to wear apron or gloves. 

Catering facilities will not be open however public toilets are available.

Visitors should not bring in food parcels, flowers, helium balloons or other similar items.

An NHS spokesperson said: "The importance of support from family members and loved ones to people in hospital cannot be overstated.

"It is important to emphasise that NHS Fife will continue to support compassionate visiting and that any exceptional circumstances should be discussed with the Charge Nurse to facilitate a visit.

"When patients’ loved ones make arrangements to visit, the clinical care teams will point out that optional testing is a valuable way to promote safety and will therefore encourage testing.

"Universal lateral flow testing is now available for anyone in Scotland either through community testing programmes or home delivery by calling 119 or ordering online.

"We will draw visitors’ attention to this offer as part of preparations to support the safe re-expansion of wider hospital visiting."

In line with national guidance, visiting remains suspended on Covid-19 wards however digital visiting is available and should be discussed with the nurse in charge.

Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19, or who may have come into contact with someone with COVID-19, should not visit.