COVID-19 update: mask wearing and testing

From Thursday 1 September, visitors are no longer required to wear face masks in the hospital unless they are in a clinical area with immunocompromised or COVID-19 patients.

This change has been made after taking into consideration the reduced prevalence of COVID-19 and the potential improvements to patient care and experience that could be realised if face mask use is reduced.

Should visitors make a personal choice to continue to wear a face mask, they should feel comfortable to continue to do so.

Areas where face masks are still required will be clearly marked and staff will politely ask patients to adhere to face mask requirements.

As the numbers of people with the virus remains comparatively low, we no longer require patients to test for COVID-19 if they are not experiencing any symptoms.

Testing will remain in place for asymptomatic patients that are either immunocompromised or being discharged to care homes or hospices. Testing will also be required for patients who are symptomatic. The main symptoms of the virus include fever, a new and continuous cough, a loss of taste and/or smell.

Please see the table below for clarification on how this will apply to patients:

Patient  Type of Test required 
Asymptomatic patient (adult and paediatrics) being admitted for either emergency or elective care No test required
Immunocompromised patient (adult and paediatrics) admitted for either emergency or maternity care PCR on admission and again between days 3-5
Symptomatic patient admitted for emergency or maternity care PCR on admission and again between days 3-5
Symptomatic or immunocompromised patients coming for elective care (including day cases) LFT to be conducted from home 48hrs prior to appointment
Inpatients being discharged to a care home or hospice PCR (unless patient has been positive for COVID-19 within 90 days, in which case an LFT test should be undertaken)

PLEASE DO NOT VISIT THE HOSPITAL IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING ANY SYMPTOMS OF ILLNESS, INCLUDING NOROVIRUS, FLU AND COVID-19.