Only one named visitor will be able to visit NHS Fife hospital patients due to rising Covid cases across the Kingdom, the health board has announced.
NHS Fife recently relaxed hospital visiting rules as Covid restrictions eased, but the increasing case numbers have forced another change.
From today patients will be allowed one visitor as opposed to the maximum of two that had been permitted since June 14.
It is hoped the move will protect vulnerable hospital patients from Covid and ensure the safety of NHS Fife staff.
Visitors have been told to contact the ward they wish to visit to arrange an appointment time.
NHS Fife alter hospital visiting rules due to Covid
NHS Fife Director of Nursing, Janette Owens, said: “With growing numbers of Covid-19 infections over recent weeks, it is clear that we have increasing spread of the virus within our communities in Fife.
“The nature of this virus is that it is highly infectious and can be easily spread by those with no symptoms at all or with mild symptoms.
“For those most vulnerable amongst us, such as those cared for in our hospitals, contracting Covid-19 can be particularly dangerous and it is vital that we do all that we can to protect those most at risk of the effects of the virus and to protect our health and social care services.
“What is also different at this time is that there are more emergency surgical and medical patient admissions than during the previous waves and to allow us to increase bed capacity, while maintaining safe social distancing we have taken the decision to limit visiting to one named visitor.
“This change will apply to all hospitals in Fife and will be reviewed regularly.”
NHS Tayside currently has the same limit of one visitor per patient across all of its hospitals.
A spokeswoman for NHS Tayside said: “We ask that visitors do not come to the hospital without a prearranged appointment.
“Where local risk assessment indicates that it is necessary to restrict visiting, essential visiting will continue.”