Changes to mask wearing in our hospitals

08 July 2022 - Face masks to be worn in all clinical areas except children services

Red sign shown in parts of the hospital where mask wearing is required.

We are introducing changes to mask wearing rules in our hospitals from Friday, 8 July 2022. This is due to an increase in community transmission of COVID-19, and a rise in hospital admissions for the virus.

From Friday, 8 July, patients, visitors and staff will be required to wear a surgical face mask in all clinical areas except children’s services. Clinical areas refer to a place where direct patient care is provided. This includes wards, plus facilities used to undertake patient consultations (for example, clinic rooms), as well as diagnostic tests (such as blood tests and x-rays). It does not include waiting areas.

Many patients, visitors and staff may choose to wear a mask in areas where they are not required - such as general corridors, patient waiting areas, office spaces, and children’s services - and we fully support those whose personal preference is to do so. Please bear this in mind and respect the right of individuals to wear a mask if they choose.

We ask patients to wear a mask in the following situations:

  • entering any clinical areas (except children’s services)
  • if you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19. Please do not attend hospital if you have COVID-19 symptoms unless you are advised to do so by hospital staff, and/or if you require urgent/emergency treatment
  • if you have confirmed or suspected COVID-19 and are being transferred between wards/departments
  • if you are judged by your clinical team to be at higher risk from COVID-19 (for example, if you are severely immune-suppressed)

Visitors should wear a mask when:

  • entering any clinical areas (except children’s services)
  • if you yourself are at higher risk from COVID-19 (for example, if you are immune-suppressed)

Face masks are not required in any other areas of our hospitals. However, as stated above, patients, visitors and staff may choose to wear a mask if they wish, and we fully support those whose personal preference is to do so.

We also continue to encourage all patients and visitors to wash their hands before and after visiting. Hand-washing stations and sanitisers are available throughout the hospital.