Thank you for your patience and support during the pandemic.
Guidance on the wearing of face coverings changes regularly and when there is a change in local health issues, this may vary from National guidance as healthcare settings undertake risk assessments and determine differing local policies.
Our current guidance is as follows :
• Patients with respiratory symptoms who are required to attend for emergency treatment should wear a facemask/covering, if tolerated, or offered one on arrival.
• All other patients are not required to wear a facemask unless this is a personal preference
For the consideration of other more vulnerable users of the health centre, patients may choose to wear a facemask to support them.
Health & Care Staff:
• Health and care staff should continue to wear facemasks as part of personal protective equipment required for transmission-based precautions when working in COVID-19/respiratory care pathways, and when clinically caring for suspected/confirmed COVID-19 patients. This is likely to include settings where untriaged patients may present such as emergency departments or primary care, depending on local risk assessment. In all other clinical care areas, universal masking should be applied when there is known or suspected cluster transmission of SARS-CoV-2, eg during an outbreak, and/or if new SARS-CoV-2 VOC emerge.
• Health and care staff are in general not required to wear facemasks in nonclinical areas eg offices, social settings, unless this is their personal preference or there are specific issues raised by a risk assessment. This should also be considered in community settings.
Please refer to C1657_next-steps-on-infection-prevention-and-control-letter_010622.pdf (england.nhs.uk) for further detail as needed.