Patients, Visitors & The Public
COVID-19 Important information for patients and visitors

Face coverings in hospital

Face coverings and physical distancing (Updated 27.04.23)

As part of the living with COVID-19 strategy guidance there are changes on the wearing of masks in healthcare settings.

What has changed?


  • Non-clinical areas: Staff, patients and visitors are no longer required to wear facemasks in non-clinical areas. 
  • Clinical areas: Staff, patients and visitors will no longer be required to wear face masks in MOST clinical areas.
  • The clinical areas where face masks must be worn by everyone are:
    • Renal dialysis
    • In inpatient, outpatient, and day case areas where oncology or haematology patients are cared for. For example, in all cancer care wards, cancer care day case units and cancer care outpatient depts.
    • Respiratory Unit
    • Outbreak wards & where COVID-19 symptomatic or suspected patients/patients with symptoms suggestive of a respiratory virus who are awaiting a test result
    • Where mask wearing is still required, appropriate Droplet precautions signage and a supply of masks will be made available.
    • PPE usage will follow Transmission based precaution guidance (Contact, Droplet and Airborne)

We appreciate the easing of mask wearing and social distancing requirements marks a significant change for both our staff and our patients, and we need to continue to support each other during this period of transition.

The guidance will remain under review and if there are any serious rises in prevalence, increased outbreaks, or a new variant of concern, further updated requirements will be issued.