North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust will need visitors to the University Hospital of Hartlepool and Stockton’s University Hospital of North Tees to take a test and provide evidence of a negative result.
The move comes as the NHS across the country experience rising number of patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19.
A total of 10,462 people were in hospital in England with Covid-19 as of 8am on December 29, according to figures from NHS England – up 48% from a week earlier and is the highest number since March 1.
Rebecca Denton-Smith, infection, prevention and control lead nurse, said: “We want to do everything we can to ensure patients can still be visited by their loved ones.
“To do that, in light of a rising number of COVID-19 cases and hospital admissions, we are asking for our community’s support.
“Anyone visiting hospital is asked to take a lateral flow test – providing evidence of a negative result when visiting the ward.”
She added: “This will help lower any chances of transmission and protect our patients and our staff.”
Visitors to any of the Trust’s buildings must also wear a mask unless they are exempt from doing so – and these are available at reception areas.
Anyone looking to make a visiting appointment, should ring the main switchboard number – (01642) 617617 – and ask for the ward area.
To book at lateral flow test, go to https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests