NHS Fife is to restrict visiting times across all of its hospitals to limit the spread of coronavirus and protect vulnerable patients.

From tomorrow (March 17), visiting will be restricted to 7-8pm across all hospitals in Fife.

Furthermore, a maximum of two visitors will be allowed during visiting and young children will no longer be able to visit our ward areas.

Hand gels must also be used when entering and leaving all clinical areas.

Helen Buchanan , NHS Fife Director of Nursing, said: “The safety of our patients and staff is paramount and it is crucial that we take all reasonable steps to minimise the risk of coronavirus transmission in our hospitals. We believe this is a sensible precaution in managing this evolving situation.

“Those in our hospitals are very often the most vulnerable to infection; therefore, we are asking people to think very carefully before choosing to visit their family members and friends.

"Please only visit if this is essential, and then only do so between 7pm and 8pm.

“Most importantly, if you have any flu-like symptoms, a cough, a fever or a cold – or if you generally feel unwell - do not visit our hospitals until you are well and are no longer demonstrating such symptoms.”

There will be a small number of exceptions to visiting hours, such as the neonatal, maternity and children’s wards.

For the latest health and travel advice, visit: nhsinform.scot/coronavirus A free helpline has been set up for those who do not have symptoms but are looking for general health advice: 0800 028 2816.