VISITING restrictions are set to be introduced in care homes across the Dudley borough from Monday (September 14).

People will only be allowed into care homes under "exceptional circumstances"- for example if the person they are visiting is at the end of their life, Dudley Council has announced.

The restriction comes as the number of coronavirus cases doubled in the borough over the past week, although cases in Dudley remain lower than neighbouring authorities.

A risk assessment will also be carried out before people can visit.

Care homes will remain open to visitors this weekend (September 12 and 13) but people are urged to only visit if it is essential and to meet their friend or loved one outside in gardens where possible.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said: "We’re really sorry that we have had to once again bring in measures to restrict visits to care homes.

"We know how important it is for residents to see their friends and loved ones but we have to look at the bigger picture and ensure we are taking steps at the right time to best protect the health of not only the residents but the staff and friends and loved ones. We cannot compromise when there may be a risk to the health and well-being of residents.

"We always said we would keep visiting arrangements to care homes under review and as we have seen a steady increase in cases over the last few weeks, we are now at the point unfortunately where we need to take action.

"We will continue to work closely with care homes across the borough to support them through this process and I would appeal to anyone planning to visit a care home before the rules change to only visit if they really need to and if they are showing no symptoms of coronavirus.

"At the moment we can’t say how long these changes will be brought in for, but we do commit to keeping them under constant review."