Visitors and outpatients attending any NHS hospital setting from today (Monday 15 June) will be required to wear a facemask or face covering to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus. All staff in hospitals must also wear facemasks to reduce the risk of transmission in hospitals (nosocomial transmission of COVID-19).

The new Government measures set out the infection prevention and control procedures for all NHS Trusts (acute, mental health and community) and private hospital providers. This includes all University of Leicester NHS Trust (UHL) and Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) hospitals and sites offering treatment.

To see the list of LPT sites where you will have to wear a face covering as a member of staff, visitor or outpatient please visit: Covid-19: Face coverings guidance for the public

Additionally, GP practices in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) are sharing best practice by extending the measures to their patients by encouraging them to wear a facemask or covering when visiting a GP surgery, to protect themselves and others.

Caroline Trevithick, Executive Director of Nursing, Quality and Performance for LLR’S Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “We can all play our role in reducing the spread of coronavirus and keeping our hospitals safe.

“It is really important that people plan in advance and bring a facemask or face covering if they are a visitor or outpatient attending a hospital setting. Face coverings can be home-made and advice on how to wear and make one can be found on the government website. Coverings worn as part of religious beliefs or cultural practice are also acceptable, providing they are not loose and cover the mouth and nose.

“Those shielding may have already been provided with a surgical face mask for their appointments and should continue to use this. If they haven’t been provided with a surgical face mask, they should wear a face covering.

“For some people, wearing a face covering may be difficult due to physical or mental health conditions. In these instances, other measures will be considered on a case by case basis.

“Outpatients and visitors can expect to see all staff wearing a face mask to reduce the risk of transmission to patients, visitors and staff.

“All visitors and outpatients will be expected to comply with existing social distancing and hand hygiene measures in addition to the face coverings while in a hospital setting.”

For patients who are deaf or hearing impaired, NHS staff have a range of communication options to ensure that they can communicate effectively. This might include the use of clear masks where possible, as well as visual aids, speech to text apps and sign language.

The new facemask or covering requirement does not affect visiting restrictions already in place. Visiting restrictions remain at all hospital sites and patients can check online or contact their clinic or service where they have their appointment for further information.

To see LPT’s visiting restrictions visit: Covid-19: Temporary visiting restrictions

Advice on how to wear and make a face covering can be found on the government website.

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