Keep wearing masks in pharmacies, patients urged as Plan B dropped
Members of the public have been urged to continue wearing face coverings in healthcare settings such as community pharmacies as Plan B measures are rolled back in England.
The Government announced on Wednesday that it was dropping measures that were introduced to control the spread of the Omicron variant, and that from January 27 face coverings will no longer be required by law in any setting.
However, public health guidance will remain in place, including the UK Health Security Agency’s advice that people should wear coverings in pharmacies and other healthcare settings.
The PSNC is advising pharmacies to “continue to encourage patients to wear a face covering to keep staff and other patients safe”.
National Pharmacy Association chair Andrew Lane commented: “We continue to urge people to wear masks in pharmacies, in line with UK Health Security Agency guidance.
“Pharmacies provide vital healthcare to millions of people, including many vulnerable to severe disease.
“Health workers and the services they deliver deserve to be protected, especially after two years of relentless hard work on the NHS frontline.
“There is currently an acute workforce shortage and we don’t want this to be aggravated by a rise in the transmission of covid to pharmacy staff and patients.”
Mr Lane called on the health secretary to reinforce this messaging through a dedicated statement, commenting: “Sajid Javid has recommended that masks continue to be worn in enclosed, crowded places.
“It would be helpful if he made an explicit statement about taking precautions in healthcare setting including community pharmacies.”
The Department of Health and Social Care told Pharmacy Network News earlier today that there are “currently no plans” to issue such a statement to the public.