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Face Coverings in Healthcare Settings

Face Coverings in Healthcare Settings

COVID restrictions ended in many settings in England on the 19th July.

However, Public Health England’s infection prevention control guidelines and hospital visiting guidance are set to remain in place for all staff and visitors.

That means NHS visitor guidance will stay in place across all health services including hospitals, GP practices, dental practices, optometrists and pharmacies to ensure patients and staff are protected.

Staff, patients and visitors will also be expected to continue to follow social distancing rules when visiting any care setting as well as using face coverings, mask and other personal protection equipment.

The NHS will continue to support staff in ensuring that the guidance is followed in all healthcare settings.

Chief Nursing Officer for England, Ruth May said:

“Face coverings and social distancing measures will remain in place across healthcare settings so that the most vulnerable people can continue to safely attend hospital, their GP surgery, pharmacy or any other healthcare settings for advice, care and treatment.

 

“And it is important for the public to continue to play their part when visiting NHS and care settings to help protect our staff and patients, particularly those who may be more vulnerable to infections.

 

“As restrictions are lifted in many places on Monday everyone has a part to play in helping to control Covid by getting vaccinated and acting responsibly.

 

“It is vital that in healthcare settings, we do all we can to reduce the risk of infection for those working in our services and those who need our care.”

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Advice from Cheshire East

The people of Cheshire have pulled together through all stages of the pandemic to look after and protect each other. It is vital that we keep this up as we go forward.

People living, visiting and working in Cheshire East are advised to:

  • Get fully vaccinated – it’s shown to be safe and effective against the virus, including new variants and is the best way to keep yourself from getting seriously ill. It also reduces the risk of passing the virus on to someone else
  • Be kind and considerate of others who may be feeling extremely nervous about the further lifting of restrictions
  • Continue wearing face coverings in crowded indoor areas where social distancing cannot be followed, such as supermarkets and on public transport, in health and social care settings, such as hospitals, care homes and GP surgeries, and where it would make others feel more comfortable
  • Continue social distancing by not unnecessarily being in crowded areas and continuing to work from home if possible
  • Try to meet others outside where possible
  • Continue to practice good hand hygiene, in particular hand washing
  • Keep getting tested – everyone should undertake twice weekly rapid symptom free testing using Lateral Flow Tests (LFT). If people experience generally associated symptoms such as a headache, a stuffed or runny nose, tiredness or weakness, aches and pains, sore throat or diarrhoea, they should take an LFT and follow up with a PCR test if the LFT test is positive. If people have any of the main symptoms of COVID-19 such as a high temperature, a new continuous cough or loss or change to their sense of smell or taste they must stay at home and book a PCR test.
  • Self-isolate if you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, especially if you work in a high-risk setting.

For more information, please visit the Cheshire East website.