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Masks and social distancing remain mandatory in Hampshire Hospitals

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has confirmed that COVID-19 restrictions will remain unchanged after ‘Freedom Day’ on 19 July.  This is following confirmation from Public Health England that the guidance remains in place for healthcare settings.

This means that patients, staff, and visitors will have to continue to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), which includes surgical face masks, after 19 July.  

Although outside of healthcare settings mask-wearing will be voluntary and staying two metres apart from others will not be required, Hampshire Hospitals will continue to reinforce the use of masks and social distancing to keep patients and staff safe.  

Dr Lara Alloway, chief medical officer, said: “Wearing the adequate PPE and keeping infection and prevention control processes in place ensures the safety of our patients and our staff. Simple things such as wearing a mask and keeping socially distanced do make a big difference and minimise the risk of transmission in our communities and our hospitals.”  

“I also want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for what you have done to help your local NHS.   

The trust also underlined the critical importance of continuing to take sensible precautions including wearing a face covering in crowded areas, such as public transport, maintaining good hand hygiene, staying two metres apart where possible, and ensure windows are opened regularly for fresh air.  

Dr Alloway continued: “The pandemic is not over and COVID has not gone away.   

“As such, it is vital to self-isolate if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, if you test positive or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace - regardless of your vaccination status or age. I also want to remind everyone that free rapid lateral flow tests are available in the community.  

“Finally, if you have not yet taken up the offer to get vaccinated, please do so as soon as possible; it really does make such an impact and we are seeing this every day in our hospitals.”