PATIENTS and visitors to hospitals in south Devon are now being required to wear masks following a surge in COVID and flu cases.

Rising numbers of cases along with other respiratory viruses have led to hospital bosses reintroducing the mask rule while inside any trust buildings.

This includes waiting areas, corridors and other communal areas.

A spokesman for Torbay and South Devon NHS Trust said: ‘This is to help keep out patients, staff and visitors safe.

‘We understand that for some people, wearing a face covering may be difficult due to physical or mental health conditions, and exemptions will be supported.

‘Please do not visit any of our sites if you have symptoms of COVID-19, flu, or other respiratory illness.

‘We also ask that people continue to follow social distancing and hand hygiene measures when visiting any of our sites.’