Visitor restrictions have been tightened at University Hospital Limerick in order to contain a Covid outbreak which is affecting four wards there.

Following a meeting of the hospital's crisis committee today, the decision was taken to close all in-patient wards to visitors in order to manage the outbreak, and to keep essential services open for all patients.

The restrictions are being reviewed on a daily basis.

Restrictions remain for all visitors to the ER, the acute surgical assessment unit and the acute medical assessment unit, as they have done throughout the Covid pandemic.

There are exceptions for parents visiting sick children, people assisting confused patients, and those visiting on compassionate grounds, but numbers are restricted to one visitor per patient.

The hospital is also appealing to family members and friends not to meet with patients outdoors on the grounds of the hospital to further control infection spread.

In addition, the hospital group is dealing with a major water leak at University Maternity Hospital on the Ennis Road, which has affected the phone lines to the hospital, including lines to the early pregnancy assessment unit and the maternity emergency unit.

Alternative phone numbers have been set up, while maintenance teams are working to restore all of the impacted communications.

All other services at the maternity hospital are unaffected.