There are concerns the government’s test and trace service could disproportionately impact on NHS staff if they are identified as close contacts of someone who tests positive for the virus.
An outbreak of coronavirus infections at a London Hospital in prime minister Boris Johnson’s constituency has led to the closure of its accident and emergency department to emergency patients with 70 hospital staff now in isolation.
Ambulances and emergency patients are now being diverted to other hospitals across the capital.
In a statement Hillingdon Hospitals Foundation Trust told The Independent: “An outbreak of Covid-19 was declared on Friday 3 July. As of Tuesday, 7 July 70 members of staff were isolating, a number of whom have tested positive for Covid-19.
As a result, the trust has taken the precautionary decision to close Hillingdon Hospital to emergency ambulances and emergency admissions.
“The trust is managing the outbreak in line with Public Health England guidance.”
The outbreak comes after a children’s ward was closed at a hospital in Lancashire last month because of an outbreak among staff.
The paediatric ward at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary closed with 38 staff told to self-isolate.
Staff who were wearing full protective clothing would not be required to isolate.