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COVID-19: face coverings and social distancing to remain compulsory in healthcare settings in England

Chief nurse Ruth May confirms their continued use after ‘freedom day’ on 19 July

Chief nurse Ruth May confirms their continued use after ‘freedom day’ on 19 July

England’s chief nurse Ruth May has announced that face coverings and social distancing will remain in place for staff and visitors across all healthcare settings, despite COVID-19 legal restrictions lifting on 19 July.

All staff working in NHS hospitals in England must wear Type 1 or Type 2 surgical masks.

Ms May said: ‘These measures will remain in place so that the

Chief nurse Ruth May confirms their continued use after ‘freedom day’ on 19 July

Picture: iStock

England’s chief nurse Ruth May has announced that face coverings and social distancing will remain in place for staff and visitors across all healthcare settings, despite COVID-19 legal restrictions lifting on 19 July.

All staff working in NHS hospitals in England must wear Type 1 or Type 2 surgical masks.

Ms May said: ‘These measures will remain in place so that the most vulnerable people can continue to safely attend hospital, their GP surgery, pharmacy or any other healthcare settings for advice and treatment.

‘It is vital that we do all we can to reduce the risk of infection for those working in our services and those who need our care.’

Masks and distancing: your questions answered

When do I, as a nurse, have to wear a face mask?
In all health and care settings, including in patients’ homes. All staff working in NHS hospitals in England must wear Type 1 or Type 2 surgical masks.

How long will I have to wear a mask at work?
NHS England has not set an end date.

Am I obliged to wear a face mask outside of work because I am a nurse?
No. However, you would be expected to follow government guidelines that encourage people to wear face masks indoors and in crowded spaces.

Do I have to wear a face mask if I commute on public transport?
The government is encouraging all people, who can, to wear a face mask on public transport.

Do I still have to socially distance at work?
Yes. Health and care settings guidance advises social distancing of at least two metres from people not in your bubble.

Do I have to wear a face mask and social distance at work if I have been double vaccinated?
Yes. NHS England wants all staff, patients and visitors to follow the guidance regardless of vaccination status.


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