West Suffolk hospital is reintroducing visiting hours for some patients – although slots must now be booked.

Visiting at the hospital is now allowed for most patients from today, Monday, February 21, for one hour.

A statement on the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust's website reads: "The slot must be booked in advance and the individual should be the same named visitor for the duration of the inpatient’s stay.

"This is to help minimise the number of people coming into our wards, and in turn minimise the chance of any infection spreading.

"We know that people can carry and spread Covid-19 without symptoms, so reducing contact is a key way of keeping cases low.

"Visitors can book their slot by telephoning the ward they want to visit.

"Slightly different arrangements apply for maternity and paediatric areas, and our ward staff will continue to have discretion in visiting arrangements for those receiving end of life care or with specific mental health needs.

"The Trust are also encouraging visitors to take a lateral flow test before they visit, and anyone who tests positive or has Covid-19 symptoms should not attend our hospital.

"Throughout the visit, visitors should wear a surgical face mask which is available at the entrance of the hospital."

Viewing remains suspended in our assessment units, outpatients and emergency departments.

For a full summary of arrangements visit the trust's visiting information page.

A spokeswoman for East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust which covers Ipswich and Colchester hospital confirmed that their visiting restrictions are remaining in place.