HOSPITALS in Essex are asking people not to visit patients to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Basildon, Broomfield and Southend Hospitals will be restricting patient visits from tomorrow.

In a statement they said: "We have been given a directive that we must take steps to minimise the impact of the current Coronavirus (COVID 19) particularly for our patients who may be more vulnerable to infection.

"For the safety of our patients and staff, from 24 March visitors will not be permitted to enter the hospitals.

"The only exceptions will be:

  • Where a patient is receiving end-of-life care
  • A partner accompanying a woman in labour
  • Children’s wards and neonatal units, one visitor per child

"We ask for the public’s help in respecting these rules.

"If you need urgent advice: Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if: you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home your condition gets worse your symptoms do not get better after seven days."

Visit Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.