PRINCE WILLIAM is concerned that royal visits will soon have to be made virtually as the coronavirus pandemic erupts.
This comes as the Cambridges became the first members of the royal family to meet health workers handling the Covid-19 outbreak. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited an NHS 111 call centre in Croydon, London.
They were told that the number of calls from the public had quadrupled since the outbreak began.
The chief executive of the London Ambulance Service, Garrett Emmerson, said Prince William had suggested royal visits could change due to the pandemic.
He said: “We are all learning new ways of behaving socially as a result of this, and indeed new ways of working.
“We were talking with the Duke about potential future visits if we are in further stages of social distancing – we may be doing remote conferencing for events like this.
Prince William fears that royal visits will soon have to be made virtually (Image: getty)
The Cambridges became the first members of the royal family to meet workers handling the pandemic (Image: Instagram)
“That’s certainly a possibility in the coming weeks and months.”
The royal couple were informed that 999 services have had the busiest three days in its history.
The 111 advice helpline was also receiving “phenomenal” levels of calls as members of the public panic over self-isolation.
On their royal trip to the south-east London call centre, William and Kate adhered to the latest protocols of dealing with the virus – no handshakes, frequent hand-sanitising and a conscious effort to socially distance themselves from people.
William and Kate adhered to the latest protocols of dealing with the virus (Image: Instagram)
The Cambridges sanitised their hands twice during the visit.
But one healthcare staff member forgot the safeguarding rules when she asked the couple for a photograph and reached out to shake their hands.
Prince William laughed saying “Don’t shake hands!” – adding “we can do a photograph if we are not within a metre of each other”.
The staff member Courtney Campbell, a supervisor at the call centre, laughed off her mistake.
The royal couple were informed that 999 services have had the busiest three days in its history (Image: getty)
The Cambridges sanitised their hands twice during the visit to the call centre (Image: getty)
“That was so funny. I went to shake the hand, Coronavirus!” she said.
“I guess it’s just polite, isn’t it? In the professional environment we are so used to being greeted and shaking hands with each other.”
William and Kate were told how the 11 service was experiencing a “fantastic volume of demand”.
Euan Flood, a paramedic, told the Duke and Duchess how the 111 service was “incredibly busy”.
“We are getting calls one after the other,” he said.
“Currently we have a few hundred calls waiting to be called back, anything from a day to two, three days old.
“We are finding that people are quite understanding when we call them back.
“They are quite accepting that they know it’s busy, they know it’s going to be a long time. We try and get through them as quickly as we can, but safely as well.”
William and Kate were told how the 11 service was experiencing a “fantastic volume of demand” (Image: getty)
He continued later: “We are hearing a lot of panic about self-isolation.
“People don’t really understand the guidance, so we have to explain it to them fairly regularly.
“But once we explain it people tend to understand why we are advising it.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK