Published on: 15 June 2020

The NHS in the north east and north Cumbria is urging the public to plan ahead and have face coverings available to wear when they attend hospital settings from Monday 15 June.

The request comes ahead of government guidance coming into force following evidence from its Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies that face coverings could help reduce transmission risk among those suffering from coronavirus, but not showing symptoms.

Face coverings should cover the mouth and nose while allowing the wearer to breathe comfortably and can be as simple as a scarf or bandanna that ties behind the head to give a snug fit.

Alongside wearing a face covering, people attending hospital settings are asked to:

• Wash their hands often and on entering and leaving the premises, use hand sanitiser if soap and water is not available
• Follow social distancing measures
• Adhere to guidance issued by the healthcare provider regarding attendance and/or visiting
• Come in alone, wherever possible

Professor Chris Gray, clinical lead for the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System, said: “We would like to thank people across the north east and north Cumbria for their support at this time and over the last few challenging months.

“As increasing numbers of people start to access NHS services again, it’s more important than ever that we all take measures to protect our patients, visitors and staff and help further prevent the spread of coronavirus in our communities.

“Covering your mouth and nose is a necessary practice to enable us to help do this alongside washing your hands often and particularly on entering and leaving a hospital, and following social distancing measures.

“We’d urge people intending to come into a hospital setting to plan ahead and have a face covering with them ready to wear and play their part in helping keep us all safe.”