Advice for visitors

Information updated: 19/05/2020

COVID-19 (coronavirus) guidance for all visitors

The Royal Free London is putting measures in place for patients, visitors and staff during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. We recognise this as a difficult time for all of our patients, their families and their carers. Thank you for your co-operation and helping us to keep our hospitals safe.

Please remember, if you, or someone you live in the same house as, experiences coronavirus symptoms – a new, continuous cough, a high temperature and/or loss of smell or taste – please do not visit the hospital. Self isolate and visit NHS 111 online for further advice.

Advice for visitors of in-patients

  • No visitors will be allowed onto our wards until further notice; *exceptions to this are outlined below.

During this time we ask and encourage visitors to use other methods of keeping in touch with their friends and family members, including phone and video calls.

*In-patient visitors – exceptional circumstances
In exceptional circumstances, a visitor pass will be issued for a limited group of patients (one per patient). Visitors will need to present this pass on arrival to the ward. Please note, only one family member/carer at a time can use the pass, but it can be shared between families and carers to allow them to visit. 

Groups include:

  • Patients who are receiving end of life care are able to receive one visitor at a time
  • People with a learning disability are able to receive one visitor at a time
  • For children on our wards, one parent/carer at a time will be able to visit

Visitors who believe they meet the above criteria for visiting will need to report to the security desk at the relevant hospital to collect their visitor pass.

  • Barnet Hospital: Main reception desk (passes will be available to collect from 2pm each day) 
  • Royal Free Hospital: Lower ground floor, next door to the emergency department (passes will be available to collect from 2pm each day)

*Maternity services – exceptional circumstances

  • Women in labour on our maternity wards – one birth partner, who will not be able to stay overnight
  • To help prevent the spread of infection, birth partners will not be able to attend other maternity service visits including scans or antenatal or postnatal ward visits. 

Advice for people using our emergency and urgent care services

If you are using our emergency departments or urgent care centre services please note:

  • Adults are advised to come alone.
  • One adult only should accompany a child.

Advice for out-patients

If you are visiting one of our hospital or clinics for an appointment, come alone and only bring someone to accompany you if absolutely necessary.

Attending our premises

We are also asking members of the public not to attend our premises unless they are attending an appointment or visiting the emergency departments or urgent care centre.

All visitors to our hospitals are asked to wash their hands for 20 seconds with soap and water as soon as they enter the hospital and when they leave. Frequent handwashing is effective at reducing the spread of infection.

Thank you for your co-operation and help in respecting these changes.