People going to see loved ones at Ipswich and Colchester hospitals will no longer have to book time slots as almost all visiting restrictions have been relaxed.

East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), which manages the two hospitals, confirmed the change in policy on Tuesday.

The changes mean those visiting no longer need to book ward visiting slots and for longer time periods.

Before the change in policy, visitors were only able to stay for a maximum of two hours.

It comes as the trust is seeing lower Covid-19 infection rates.

Chief executive at ESNEFT, Nick Hulme, said: "I am very happy to say we are in a position where we can relax the visiting restrictions we have had in place for some time – and that it is safe for us to do so.

“We appreciate how vitally important visiting is for our patients’ recovery and wellbeing, as well as those who are understandably worried and care about them at home.

“We were mindful too of the emotional impact the death of Her Majesty The Queen and her funeral had on the people in our care.

"That is why we wanted to have a more relaxed visiting policy in place yesterday for all our patients.

“As always, we will keep our visiting policy under regular review. If needed, we will reinstate restrictions again, but for now we are delighted to have more open visiting in place to support our patients and their families.”