Visiting hours at the Royal United Hospital in Bath are being restricted to evenings only from today to combat an outbreak of the winter vomiting bug Norovirus.

The hospital says the change to visiting hours will be for the forseeable future and aims to stop people bringing the virus into the hospital, as well as giving staff more time to carry out cleaning routines on wards.

Over the past few weeks the virus, which is highly infectious, has lead to the closure of several wards.

Wards not affected by these latest closures include the maternity, paediatrics and ITU.

Francesca Thompson, the Trust’s Director of Nursing said: “Altering our visiting times in this way means we are significantly reducing the number of opportunities to bring Norovirus into the hospital.

“This reduces our patients’ exposure to the virus and also that of our staff.

“We appreciate that families like to visit their loved ones when they are in hospital and are aware of the benefits for patients, but it is currently more important to prevent patients catching this infection.

“We are asking the public to consider their responsibility to help us to do that.”

People are being warned to only visit the hospital if they are collecting someone who is being discharged.

If they come outside the designated visiting times or to a ward which is closed, they may be refused admission.

Anyone who feels that their visit is essential, should ring the ward sister before they leave home.

More information about the wards and visiting can be found on the Trust’s website,