HEARTBREAKING pleas for residents to stay at home have been made by National Health Service (NHS) workers, some of whom have been forced to leave their homes and sick loved ones to care for those with COVID-19.

The emotional pleas for people to follow social distancing rules came after sunny weather drew large numbers to local beauty spots last weekend - with the likes of Alice Holt Forest, Frensham Ponds and Devil’s Pumchbowl all attracting large crowds.

Posting online, Royal Surrey NHS Foundation Trust anaesthetist Jenny Hawkins told of how she was moving out of the home she shares with her husband, who has cystic fibrosis.

"I am about to move out of our home so I can give my all to the NHS and try to get through this," Jenny wrote.

"I am giving up my life temporarily so I can use my airway and ventilator skills to help save lives.

"All I ask of you is try to stay home. I don’t think I’m asking you to sacrifice anywhere near what I’m having to.

"Please stay at home so I can get home to my husband soon."

Her post has been shared on Facebook 180,000 times and has over 200,000 ’likes’.

In a similar post, another anaesthetist from Frimley Park Hospital told of how he could no longer live at home because of his son, Alfie.

Writing online, Nick Dennison said: "My son turned three years old last week and is six weeks into a three-year chemotherapy program for lymphoma.

"This virus is a big threat to his life and as I am going to be exposed this week doing my job, I can no longer live at home."

Continuing, he told of how he was forced to make a "difficult choice" to "do my job and save lives of people I don’t know, or to be with my son while he battles cancer. Bottom line - socially isolate or people die in two weeks."

Now having to live in a motor home for the foreseeable future, Nick’s post attracted more than 90,000 shares on Facebook, with many calling him a "hero".