Visitors to hospitals in Romford and Goodmayes are being urged to take a Covid-19 rapid lateral flow test.

People attending Queen’s and King George Hospitals are expected to take the tests within 24 hours of their visit and will be asked for proof of their negative test result.

The requirement has been linked to the Delta variant, which is 60 per cent more infectious than the Alpha strain of coronavirus.

A spokesperson for Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT), which runs the hospitals, said this meant the risk of it spreading from visitors to patients is increased.

Kathryn Halford OBE, chief nurse, said that “infection prevention and control processes have never been more critical” and that visitors had a “moral responsibility” to ensure the virus was not spread to the most vulnerable.

Covid-19 rapid lateral flow tests can be ordered via the government website, collected from pharmacies and community centres, and ordered by calling 119 (freephone) between 7am and 11pm.