NHS Ayrshire and Arran has suspended visiting indefinitely from midnight tonight.

The suspension applies to all hospitals within the healthboard.

A spokesperson for NHS Ayrshire and Arran said: "To limit the spread of Covid-19 and to protect our most vulnerable patients and ensure the safety of our staff, visiting will be suspended indefinitely from Tuesday, March 24, at midnight."

There are exceptions for the neonatal unit, maternity services and children’s ward, which will be restricted, and for those visiting a family member receiving end-of-life care or supporting someone with a mental health issue, such as dementia, where not being there would cause the patient to be distressed.

For the maternity inpatient ward, labour ward and maternity theatres, one visitor or birthing partner will be permitted and they must remain within the maternity area at all times; no overnight stay is permitted.

For maternity outpatient services, including scan, no visitors will be permitted.

Women to attend may take a short video of their scan at the end of their appointment.

In neonatal and special care baby unit, parents only will be allowed and should remain with the child at all times.

In the children's ward, one carer is allowed and must be with the child at all times.

In the first day of lockdown across Ayrshire, 7 more cases of coronavirus have been confirmed.

The Scottish total is now 584 positive cases.

Another two deaths were announced today, bringing the total to 16 in Scotland.

Yesterday, the UK Government issued new restrictions on people's movement.

Now, all people should stay at home regardless of whether or not they have symptoms.

People should only go out to exercise, at most once a day, and only with members of their household, to travel to and from work but only if it is completely necessary, and to go shopping for basic essentials.

All shops not selling essential items were ordered to close.

Police and councils will be able to enforce the measures, including using fines.

Holyrood will only meet once a week at least until the Easter recess.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman, MSP for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, said: "Please stay at home to save lives.

"COVID-19 assessment centres being rapidly deployed across the country."

Nicola Sturgeon and Michael Gove have both issued differing advice for construction workers with the First Minister saying constructions sites should close, and Mr Gove saying they needn't close as long as they can follow social distancing guidelines.

Irvine Times: Updated numbers March 24Updated numbers March 24