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Visiting has been banned across all NHS health and social care sites to shield the most vulnerable from COVID-19.
NHS Highland has made the move as part of its battle plan to reduce the virus spreading.
‘These are not normal circumstances and it is with great reluctance that we take these steps but they are steps we have to take to protect our patients, our staff and our wider communities,’ said an NHS Highlands spokesperson.
The only exceptions to the rule will include a birth partner during childbirth and if people are accompanying a child in hospital or for patients receiving end of life care.
For these exceptions, there must be agreement in advance from the nurse or midwife in charge of the ward or the care home manager.
Where exceptions have been made visitors will be asked not to visit any other areas in the hospital once their visit is over.
‘We appreciate that this is already an anxious time for families and carers and our health and social care staff will keep clear lines of communication open. These measures will be reviewed regularly and relaxed when it is safe to do so,’ added the spokesperson.