Patients are being encouraged to use their phones and hospital wifi to remain connected to friends and family during Covid-19 lockdown.

Hawke's Bay District Health board introduced a strict no visitors policy following the level 4 Covid-19 lockdown announcement.

The only exceptions are people going through end of life care who are allowed one nominated support person, pregnant women can have one support person during labour and children can have one parent/guardian for support.

During this time patients are encouraged to bring their phone or other personal devices with them to stay connected to friends and family Director of Digital Enablement, Anne Speden said.

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The hospital has free wifi which the DHB in partnership with Spark has recently improved increasing wifi capability from 2Gb to 5Gb.

"We appreciate being in hospital during this time may be even more stressful for patients, so it's more important than ever we encourage our patients to use our free wifi to stay connected with their loved ones.

"Access is free and there is no password needed, so we encourage our patients to make good use of it."