NEARLY all visitors have now been banned from going to Royal Blackburn and Burnley General Hospitals as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, health chiefs have announced.

Visitors will only be allowed to visit if the patient is receiving end-of-life care, the patient is a child or neonate – the visitor must be a parent or designated carer only – or if they are a partner or birthing partner accompanying a woman in labour.

East Lancashire NHS Trust, which runs the two hospitals, is asking friends and family to use other ways of keeping in touch, such as phone calls, FaceTime and Skype.

Meanwhile the Trust has announced that all patients can now watch their bedside televisions free of charge.

A Trust spokesman said: "Please follow the Government guidance to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.

"The Trust appreciates that this is a very troubling time for everyone, and asks for the public’s help in respecting these rules which keep patients and staff safe."