face coverings

Health providers have been pressing the government for clarity on the status of face coverings in hospitals, GP practices and Dental surgeries when legal requirements on mask-wearing will be lifted.

In response, Public Health England (PHE) made clear on Tuesday 13 July that its infection prevention control (IPC) guidance is to remain in place, meaning the current situation on mask-wearing in health and care settings will continue.

Under the guidelines agreed by the four nations of the UK and put in place for the pandemic, it sets out the need for “use of facemasks/coverings by all outpatients (if tolerated) and visitors when entering a hospital, GP/dental surgery or other care settings”. It also recommends physical distancing of 2 metres and thorough hand hygiene, with “patients in all care areas still to be encouraged and supported to wear a face mask, providing it is tolerated and is not detrimental to their medical or care needs”.

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