Face masks are no longer required at Ipswich and Colchester hospitals.

East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), which manages the Suffolk and Essex hospitals, announced the change in policy on Wednesday.

Face masks had been compulsory since the start of the Covid pandemic.

The change in policy comes at a time when Suffolk's reported coronavirus infection rate has more than doubled in the space of a month, according to the latest government figures.

In a statement on Facebook, ESNEFT said: "You no longer have to wear surgical face masks in our hospitals - apart from when you're visiting our A&E departments and urgent treatment centres or high risk areas, such as wards where patients are being treated for cancer or respiratory illnesses.

"You will be advised what the guidance and requirements are in those areas when you call to book your visit.

"However, if you would prefer to wear a surgical face mask when you come to see us for a visit or appointment, they are still available at all our main hospital entrances, or just ask a member of staff on the ward or department you are visiting who can supply one for you.

"If you would like anyone in our teams to wear a face mask while they are caring for you in an area where masks are no longer required, please let them know."