Visitors banned from Royal Bolton Hospital in response to coronavirus spread

The Royal Bolton Hospital has banned visitors because of coronavirus (Google)

Visitors have been banned from a hospital in the north of England as a result of the spread of coronavirus.

The Royal Bolton Hospital in Greater Manchester announced on Tuesday that it can only accept visitors in exceptional circumstances.

It comes after Boris Johnson told the public on Monday to “avoid all contact”, advising people to steer clear of pubs, restaurants and other social spaces.

The number of coronavirus cases in the UK increased by more than 400 to 1,950 on Tuesday.

The NHS is bracing for packed hospitals as the number of cases increases.

In a statement published on its website on Tuesday, the hospital said: “Due to the quickly changing situation around COVID-19 (coronavirus), it has become necessary to stop visitors to the Royal Bolton Hospital.

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“We appreciate that this may cause distress to both patients and their loved ones, but can assure you this is not a decision we have taken lightly.

“We are making every effort to reduce the spread of the virus, and as such minimising the amount of people in the hospital is essential.”

The hospital said it recognised there are special circumstances in which visitors “must be allowed”, such as parents of children, a main carer, birthing partners or when a patient is receiving end of life care.

It advised anyone with symptoms of coronavirus not to visit someone in hospital.

It said: “If you have either a high temperature or a new, persistent cough you must NOT visit the hospital.

“Whilst we are doing absolutely everything we can to reduce the spread of the virus, any visitors are reminded that they do so at their own risk.”

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Royal Bolton Hospital said anyone with appointments in the community should still attend them, and that some departments are conducting appointments over the phone.

Read more: Boris Johnson’s father to ignore son’s coronavirus advice and go to pub

Meanwhile, in an unprecedented move, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised Britons against all non-essential foreign travel.

The restrictions will be in place for 30 days but could be extended, foreign secretary Dominic Raab said.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has announced that public worship is "suspended until further notice", but a Church of England spokesman said weddings and funerals could still go ahead.