Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust announced a number of new rules designed to keep patients, staff and visitors safe amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

As the stricter lockdown measures against the virus are eased and the UK's death rate declines, the hospital said they were easing earlier restrictions on visitors and face-to-face appointments.

However, a number of new virus prevention rules for visitors and patients were announced in line with official guidance on slowing the spread of Covid-19 coronavirus.

All visitors to the hospital will be required to wear face masks to enter, a spokesperson said, and they must observe physical distancing and sanitize their hands while on site and prior to arriving.

In addition, "temperature checks will also take place using scanning thermometers for all patients entering the hospital," Kingston Hospital said.

"In line with national guidance, Kingston Hospital is continuing to offer the majority of outpatient appointments virtually, however face-to-face appointments are beginning to be offered to some patients, where a virtual appointment is not possible.

"Maternity services, cancer services and urgent care services continue to run as normal," the statement released by the Hospital on Monday (June 15) read.

A new one-way system for people moving around the site has been put in place to cope with what was described as a recent increase in patients arriving on site.

Meanwhile, visitors will be able to visit friends and relatives in hospital from Tuesday (June 16) but only with an appointment and under strict rules.

"From Tuesday 16 June, patients on certain wards can be visited by a family member or friend once a week, during a booked time slot," the statement read.

“We understand that patients may be worried about coming in to hospital, but we would like to reassure them that we are taking a number of precautions within all of our buildings," Kingston Hospital’s director of nursing and quality, Sally Brittain, said on the new measures.

"Our priority is to keep everyone safe and to minimise the risk of COVID-19 infection. We would like to thank patients and visitors in advance for their co-operation," she added.

To book a visiting appointment, go to the hospital's website by clicking here.