STRICT visitor restrictions have been put in place across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde hospitals, including at the Vale of Leven, in a bid to protect vulnerable parents during the coronavirus outbreak.

Those in intensive care units; high dependency units; emergency departments, acute receiving units; initial assessment units; midwifery care areas; neonatal units, haemato-oncology units and renal units will only be allowed “essential” visitors.

This includes, for example, new mothers who have just given birth. They will only be allowed one visitor and for one hour per day – at a time of their choosing.

All children aged under 14 have been restricted from visiting the units mentioned unless given special permission. For those who are allowed to visit, they must hand sanitise when entering and leaving clinical areas.

Anyone who has a fever, respiratory, cough or cold symptoms are being told to stay away. Some visitors may even be required to wear protective equipment based on a local risk assessment.

The restrictions are in place at all major hospitals across the health board including the Vale of Leven Hospital, Gartnavel, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, and Royal Alexandra Hospital.

Dr Linda de Caestecker, director of public health, said: “It is essential you do not visit a patient in hospital if you have a cough, flu like symptoms or a fever. We need to all work together to protect patients, families/carers and staff as much as we can.

“No children should be visiting hospital unless this is in exceptional circumstances and approved by the nurse or midwife-in-charge. We are also asking all visitors not to congregate outside wards or in corridors.”

The health board is urging people to use their health services wisely as it deals with the emerging situation.

Linda added: “We are facing one of the biggest health challenges of our lifetime. We need patients to carefully consider the best place to be if they are unwell, in order that those who really need hospital care can receive it.”