This means all staff, patients and visitors must continue to follow guidelines, including wearing a face covering and complying with social distancing and hand hygiene guidance as before.
"Continuing to wear a mask is a simple but effective way to help us do that.
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“While a large number of our population are now vaccinated with at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, people can still contract the virus without feeling any ill effects and pass it on to others. It’s therefore really important to keep following the guidelines when attending or visiting our hospitals in order to protect those who remain vulnerable to Covid.”
Patients and visitors are reminded:
- A face covering must be worn at all times, if you are able to do so, and people must adhere to social distancing guidelines.
- To wash their hands before entering and leaving the building and use the hand sanitiser outside each ward, department or area.
- If you have a medical exemption for wearing a face covering to consider whether your medical condition makes them more vulnerable to infection if visiting and consider digital consultations where possible. Healthcare professionals can give advice on this if needed.
- Do not visit hospitals if you have Covid-19 symptoms, have been instructed to self-isolate or have received a positive Covid-19 test.
- Hospital and inpatient visiting restrictions remain in place. You can find all the information you need to know by visiting the trust's website.
Visitors are also asked to help to keep hospital patients safe by undertaking a lateral flow test, which must give a negative result, prior to attending. Lateral flow kits are readily available from local pharmacies or by contacting NHS 119.
The Trust will continue to review this decision and will respond to any future changes in national guidance or community transmission rates as necessary.
Heather added: “These decisions are not taken lightly but staying safe never changes. We hope people will understand that this decision has been made in the best interests of our patients and staff.”