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Monday 05 September 2022

Change to mask wearing guidance at UHS

Due to the current low prevalence of COVID-19 cases in our community and in our hospital, staff, patients and visitors will not routinely be required to wear facemasks in non-clinical and clinical areas of UHS, unless this is their personal preference to do so.

This change in guidance is with immediate effect.

There will be some exceptions to that, for example in certain specific clinical areas and in response to particular infection control guidance. Those exemptions are detailed further down this webpage.

In certain circumstances patients and visitors will also be asked to wear masks and this will be explained by your care team.

This will include areas like the Emergency Department and other admission areas.

Where mask wearing is still required, appropriate signage and a supply of masks will be made available.

Masks will also remain available at the entrances to the hospital for those who wish to maintain using them.

The guidance is in response to the current rates of infection but the situation is under constant review and may change if there is an increase in community prevalence or an increase in healthcare-associated settings.

General guidance still in place at UHS 

Members of the public should not attend any health or care settings if they are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19, other respiratory viruses or symptoms of viral gastro-enteritis, unless seeking urgent medical treatment.

Visitor restrictions also remains in place, please visit our visitor guidance pages for more information.

Visitors will still be required to wear masks in the following circumstances:

  • In inpatient, outpatient and day case areas where oncology/haematology patients are cared for e.g. in all cancer care wards, cancer care day case units and cancer care outpatient depts.
  • If visiting/accompanying patients who are in areas where mask wearing is still in place. Please be guided by the team in charge of your loved ones care.


A supply of surgical masks will continue to be available at our main entrances and in those areas or departments where mask-wearing is still required.


Patients will still be asked to wear face masks in the following situations:

  • If a patient has respiratory symptoms, or symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or other respiratory viruses, whilst awaiting test results (where testing is undertaken).
  • If they have respiratory symptoms and are required to attend for emergency care/treatment.
  • Are confirmed COVID-19 positive.
  • Have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19
  • Un-triaged patients presenting for assessment or treatment (symptoms unknown) in admission/assessment areas