Coronavirus: The Use of Face Coverings

Updated 16th May 2021

PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR A SUMMARY OF THE LATEST GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE & OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION 

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, stay at home. Do not visit a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. 
 

The use of face coverings 

From 19th July 2021 it will no longer be the law to wear a face covering in various settings. 

However, COVID-19 spreads through the air by droplets and aerosols that are exhaled from the nose and mouth of an infected person. The Government expects and recommends that people continue to wear face coverings in crowded areas, such as public transport, after 19th July.

Our team will continue to wear face coverings for the foreseeable future and we ask that any patients visiting the practice do the same, unless you were exempt under the previous government guidance. 

Please remember, whilst you might feel well you could have symptoms of coronavirus without realising it. Wearing a face covering can protect other people from these symptoms.  
 

Why are we asking people to wear face coverings at the practice?

Thank you to all those visiting the practice over the last few months who have worn face coverings and continue to do so. Wearing a face covering helps to reduce the spread of coronavirus from anyone who is infected but isn’t yet showing symptoms.

Evidence suggests wearing a face covering does not protect you, but may protect others if you are infected with coronavirus.  

If you do have symptoms of coronavirus (a cough, high temperature and / or loss of taste / smell) then you and your household should isolate at home. Wearing a face covering does not change this.

Coronavirus  spreads via respiratory droplets between people in close quarters. Droplets fly from our mouths and noses when we breathe, talk or sneeze. Other people can then breathe these in. Face coverings can help stop droplets from leaving your mouth or nose and someone else breathing them in.

Wearing a face covering is a very simple way in which we can we can continue to make a contribution to reducing the spread of coronavirus. This seemingly small action can make a big difference to our local community.

 

It’s really important you wear your face covering in the right way…..

A face covering should:
  • cover your nose and mouth while allowing you to breathe comfortably
  • fit comfortably but securely against the side of the face
  • be secured to the head with ties or ear loops
  • be made of a material that you find to be comfortable and breathable, such as cotton
  • ideally include at least two layers of fabric (the World Health Organisation recommends three depending on the fabric used)
  • unless disposable, it should be able to be washed with other items of laundry according to fabric washing instructions and dried without causing the face covering to be damaged
When wearing a face covering you should:
  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on
  • avoid wearing on your neck or forehead
  • avoid touching the part of the face covering in contact with your mouth and nose, as it could be contaminated with the virus
  • change the face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it
  • avoid taking it off and putting it back on a lot in quick succession (for example, when leaving and entering shops on a high street)
When removing a face covering:
  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before removing
  • only handle the straps, ties or clips
  • do not give it to someone else to use
  • if single-use, dispose of it carefully in a residual waste bin and do not recycle
  • if reusable, wash it in line with manufacturer’s instructions at the highest temperature appropriate for the fabric
  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser once removed