Face coverings and face masks in GP practices
To align with a step back in mask use recently introduced locally in secondary care, from Tuesday 2nd May there will no longer be a requirement to wear face masks in all clinical environments. Masks are not required in non-clinical areas (corridors, offices etc.), however staff and patients may continue to wear one in all areas of the premises if they prefer.
It is advised that Type IIR fluid-repellent surgical masks continue to be worn in the following circumstances:
- By staff when with patients with a confirmed or suspected respiratory infection
- By staff when with patients who are immunocompromised e.g. transplant or haemato-oncology patients
- By staff who have any respiratory symptoms but who feel well enough to work
- Staff should also wear a mask if this is the patient’s preference.
If a practice has a cluster of staff with respiratory infection, it may be advisable to return to mask wearing more broadly for the period of increased prevalence.
In line with normal procedures, and National IPC guidance, masks should also be worn as appropriate as part of standard and transmission-based precautions, including by staff performing sterile procedures e.g. minor surgery.
Although aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) are unlikely in primary care premises, if applicable, fit-tested FFP3 respirators should be worn by staff during AGPs.