By Bill Heaney
From Tuesday 16th May 2023, new Scottish Government guidance comes into effect on the use of face masks and face coverings within health and care settings.
From this date, patients and visitors to all health and care settings including adult care homes do not need to wear a mask or face covering unless advised by staff.
The advice covers all hospitals, health centres, community sectors, primary care facilities and care homes.
Why the guidance has changed?
Fluid resistance surgical masks provide protection to the wearer and those around them, and therefore have a purpose within health and social care settings. However, we are in a position now where the extended use of masks and face coverings should be for particular situations and not the default position.
Although COVID-19 continues to spread, transmission rates are lower and the virus is currently milder than at earlier stages in the pandemic resulting in a reduction in severity of illness and hospitalisation.
The impact masks and face coverings can have on health and mental wellbeing, along with communication barriers, continues to be weighed against the protection provided against the risk of harm from COVID-19.
Vaccination remains the greatest protection against COVID-19 and all those eligible for the spring booster are encouraged to get vaccinated. For more information, go to NHS inform to see if you’re elidable for a COVID-19 vaccine.
Face masks no more – hospitals and health centres which serve West Dunbartonshire and Argyll.