THE Countess of Chester Hospital has closed one cafe and turned another into a take-away only facility as part of further measures to reduce the risk of coronavirus spreading.

The Comfort Zone Cafe, which is based in the Women and Children's Building and raises funds for the Chester Childbirth Appeal, is closed from today (March 23).

The cafe and restaurant in the main hospital reception area will no longer be run as a sit-in facility and will be take-away only, with the premises reconfigured to increase the distance between customers.

The Countess of Chester Hospital said: "It is with a heavy heart that we have taken the decision to close the Comfort Zone Café from today in order to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19 to both our staff and the members of the public who use the facility in the Women and Children’s Building.

"We would like to thank the volunteers from the Chester Childbirth Appeal who have provided a warm and welcoming service here for so long and we know that the shop and café will be missed by everyone who uses it.

"In order to reduce the risk of spread of Covid-19, from midnight on Sunday the restaurant and reception area café will still be offering hot meals but served on a take-away basis only.

"As part of our responsibility to keep everyone who uses the Health Park as safe as possible, the seating will be reconfigured to increase distance between diners.

"If at all possible, please take your meals away to your office or work area to eat them. We know that this will not be possible in all cases and that visitors and the public also use the facilities.

"Please help us by playing your part in reducing the risk of infection. Thank you for your patience and understanding."