Restrictions on visitation rules in Cornwall's hospitals have been changed amid the changing coronavirus case outlook.

After increased measures including restrictions on the numbers of people who could visit and the return of mask-wearing were introduced last year amid a spike in coronavirus cases, the visiting arrangements have been once again relaxed due to the reduced impact of the disease in hospitals presently.

The rule change comes as Cornwall continues to have the fifth lowest rate of coronavirus in English local authority areas.

The decision covers all hospitals in Cornwall run by Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust and the Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Cornwall's community hospitals.

All patients will be permitted to have two visitors at a time, although the hospitals are continuing to ask visitors to continue wearing face masks while in clinical areas.

Anyone displaying symptoms of coronavirus or another infection, such as the norovirus are asked not to visit.

In addition, both trusts will relax visiting further for patients who are at the end of their life.

Bosses at the hospitals have said, however, that they will continue to review the rules in place and these may change if there is a further outbreak of the coronavirus or another infectious disease.

Kim O’Keeffe, chief nursing officer for both Trust’s said, “Getting visitors, when you are poorly in hospital is important and we’re pleased to be able to return to our pre-pandemic arrangements.

“All patients will now be able to have up to 2 visitors at any one time. We’re asking all visitors to continue wearing face masks, while in clinical areas and not to visit if they are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19 or another infection, for example norovirus.”

Visiting arrangements will vary by ward and visitors are encouraged to ask a member of staff about visiting times or to check the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust or Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust website.