PEOPLE are being asked bring their own face masks when they attend hospitals.

The request, from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Hexham General Hospital, is in line with government guidelines.

The government's scientific advisory group for emergencies said face coverings could help reduce the transmission risk among people suffering from Covid-19, but not showing symptoms.

The advice said that face masks should cover the mouth and nose while allowing the wearer to breathe comfortably. They could be a scarf or bandanna tied behind the head to give a snug fit.

People attending hospitals were also being asked to wash hands often, especially when entering and leaving hospitals, and to use hand sanitiser if soap and water was not available.

Social distancing measures continue to be in place, while people were being asked to attend alone where possible.

Professor Chris Gray, clinical lead for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System, said: "It's more important than ever that we all take measures to protect our patients, visitors and staff. We'd urge people intending to come into a hospital setting to plan ahead and have a face covering with them ready to wear and play their part in helping keep us all safe.”