All hospital visiting in North Devon is being stopped apart from a few specific circumstances.

Northern Devon Healthcare Trust said there would be no visiting at North Devon District Hospital and South Molton Community Hospital from midday on Tuesday, March 24 (today).

The only exceptions are for patients receiving end-of-life care and in-patients under the age of 18 (one parent or guardian only).

The other is for reasons of safety, for example when a patient has dementia or a learning difficulty and their anxiety would be increased without the presence of their visitor or carer.

The hospital said even under these circumstances people should not visit if they have a new, persistent cough or high temperature (of 37.8 degrees centigrade or higher).

Additionally, if they live with someone who has symptoms they will need to stay at home for 14 days starting from the day the first person in their house developed symptoms and should not visit.

The trust thanked the community for its support and understanding.

This restriction will be in place for at least the next two weeks and will be reviewed daily after April 6.