FACE mask rules have been scrapped at both the Worcestershire Royal and the Alexandra Hospital in a major guidelines change.
Instead, individual hospitals are now free to draft their own policies on whether or not face coverings need to be worn.
NHS England highlighted new infection control guidance – set out by the UK Health Security Agency – in a letter to all local health bodies.
Patients visiting GP surgeries or hospital outpatient appointments and people attending A&E no longer need to wear masks “unless this is a personal preference”, the letter states.
But those with respiratory symptoms – such as a cough – should wear a face mask or face covering “if tolerated”.
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust confirmed their decision in a tweet which said: “We’re following national guidance and relaxing our guidance on mask wearing for visitors to our hospitals from today
“You can still wear one if you’d prefer though.”
We’re following national guidance and relaxing our guidance on mask wearing for visitors to our hospitals from today 😷
You can still wear one if you’d prefer though.
— Worcestershire Acute NHS (@WorcsAcuteNHS) June 9, 2022
The Trust has confirmed visitors will still be offered a face mask if visiting intensive care, the neonatal unit and the oncology, haematology, gastroenterology, respiratory and Covid wards.
Masks will also be offered in the Accident and Emergency departments and in any Covid outbreak areas.