People in England no longer have to wear face masks in any healthcare setting which includes GP practices unless they have some form of respiratory symptoms.
Despite this all health and care staff must continue to wear the coverings as part of their PPE if they are working with a patient who has suspected Covid.
NHS England updated their guidance on 1 June and said patients are “not required” to wear a face mask or covering unless they wish to do so.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) set out the news changes, the letter said, “This [working with suspected Covid-19 patients] is likely to include settings where untriaged patients may present such as emergency departments or primary care, depending on local risk assessment.”
The Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) also said that measures above and beyond their guidance is for “local discretion.”
NHS England added that all healthcare settings “should now be transitioning back towards their own pre-pandemic policies” on inpatient visiting and patients being accompanied in urgent and emergency care or in outpatient or primary care services.
It added, “We understand there may be a period of transition as providers make changes to their operating procedures, especially given local variation in Covid-19 infection levels.”