Pharmacies call on public to respect mask rules
The National Pharmacy Association has called on the public to respect the rules around wearing masks in pharmacies.
A snapshot NPA survey carried out on Tuesday and Wednesday revealed that while 55 per cent of pharmacies report that three-quarters or more of patients are wearing masks, 30 per cent reported a lower figure of between 50 and 75 per cent.
Meanwhile, 15 per cent of pharmacies said less than half of patients and customers are wearing masks, sparking concerns that pharmacy teams could be exposed to an increased risk of contracting the Omicron variant which is spreading rapidly.
NPA chief Mark Lyonette said: “Our small survey seems to stand up what we are hearing anecdotally from NPA members across the country; the majority of people are wearing masks in pharmacies, but too many are not.
“We are appealing to the public to protect pharmacy staff and fellow patients by wearing masks in pharmacies unless they are exempt. With the Omicron variant appearing to be more transmissible, this message is more important than ever before if health workers and the services they deliver are to be protected. We thank those who are already taking this precautionary measure, which is the majority.
“Pharmacy staff serve many vulnerable people and provide vital NHS services and should not be exposed to needless extra risk. They have worked incredibly hard throughout this pandemic and deserve to feel safe at work.”