THE decision to bring back a ban of visiting at Barrow's hospital amid mounting Covid-19 cases has been hailed as 'the right call'.

A temporary suspension on visiting at Furness General Hospital has been reimposed due to a rise in cases of the virus.

Limited visiting arrangements were reintroduced at the beginning of last week.

Following the latest announcement, Barrow MP Simon Fell praised the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust for bringing back the ban, saying: 'We can't be too careful."

According to the latest statistics, Barrow had 37 new cases per 100,000 last week, double the national average.

Conservative MP Mr Fell said: "We can't be too careful and this is the right call by the trust. "

The new visiting restrictions, which include a small number of exemptions, apply at FGH, Westmorland General Hospital and Millom Hospital until further notice.

Lynne Wyre, the trust's deputy chief nurse, said: "We are extremely sad to have to make the decision to temporarily suspend visiting at our hospitals again but given the rise in Covid-19 cases locally, it is necessary to keep our staff and patients safe.

“We understand that visiting is very important to our patients and their loved ones and as soon as we are able to lift the suspension, we will. In the meantime, we would ask for the public’s help in respecting these rules to help us all stay safe.”

Visiting is now only allowed if:

- The patient is receiving end-of-life care

- The visitor is a birthing partner for a woman in labour or to their 20-week scan

- The visitor is a parent or appropriate adult visiting their child

- The visitor is supporting someone with dementia, a learning disability, autism, or something similar - where not being present would cause the patient to be distressed.

Visits must be agreed with the nurse in charge of the ward before attending the hospital.

The deputy chief nurse added: “The support we have had from our patients and the local communities has been second to none and we would like to thank everyone for their understanding during this incredibly difficult time.

“I’d like to reassure patients that we have lots of measures in place to keep everyone safe whilst they are in our hospitals or community settings, and we would encourage them to still attend any planned appointments they have unless they are told otherwise.

“We will, of course, keep these restrictions under review and update everyone when we are in a position to safely lift the restrictions.”

Patients are being encouraged to use smartphones and tablets to keep in touch with their families, with a supply of iPads available for video calls.

Relatives can send messages to hospital patients by filling in a form at