Review of mask wearing guidance for NHS 'makes sense' as COVID-19 rates rise

07 July 2022

Responding to reports that a letter has been sent to NHS leaders advising that all providers review their mask wearing guidance with a view to moving back towards universal mask wearing for staff in line with UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) guidance, the interim chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said:

"Reviewing national guidance on infection prevention and mask wearing makes sense given rising COVID-19 rates.

"We have consistently called for individual trusts to be able to make their own decisions on mask wearing and other measures to minimise the spread of COVID-19 based on their particular circumstances, such as local COVID-19 infection rates and the make-up of their estates.

"One size fits all was never the right approach.

"This is particularly important now given the recent increase in community infection rates and the rise in hospital admissions due to COVID-19.

"We know some trusts recently reintroduced mask requirements due to the rise in infection rates, while others never moved away from this approach because of their local circumstances.

"We would ask the public to work with their local trusts and to consider taking sensible precautions where possible, such as testing before meeting vulnerable people and wearing masks in enclosed, poorly ventilated spaces."