NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to follow Scottish Government guidelines with relaxing of facemask rules following pandemic

It is no longer necessary to wear facemasks at health and care settings.

Introduced to help reduce the spread and impact of COVID-19 during the pandemic, facemasks have been a part of our daily lives since March 2020.

Despite the relaxing of restrictions around Easter 2022, they have remained the norm at GP surgeries, hospitals, pharmacies, dental surgeries and even optician surgeries.

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However, new Scottish Government guidance came into effect earlier this week, meaning patients and visitors to all health and care settings – including adult care homes – do not need to wear a mask or face covering unless advised by staff.

An NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde spokeswoman told us: “We are in a position now where the extended use of masks and face coverings should be for particular situations and not the default position.“Although COVID-19 continues to spread, transmission rates are lower and the virus is currently milder than at earlier stages in the pandemic resulting in a reduction in severity of illness and hospitalisation.“The impact masks and face coverings can have on health and mental wellbeing, along with communication barriers, continues to be weighed against the protection provided against the risk of harm from COVID-19.”

NHS Scotland guidance says that most people no longer need to take a coronavirus test.

To prevent the spread of infection, you should try to stay at home if unwell.

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Symptoms of the virus include a continuous cough, high temperature, fever or chills, loss of - or change in - your normal sense of taste or smell, a shortness of breath, and unexplained tiredness and lack of energy.

Other indicators include familiar flu-like symptoms, such as muscle aches or pains not caused by exercise, lack of appetite, long lasting headaches, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose.

Some sufferers also experience diarrhoea and feeling sick or being sick.

Vaccination remains the greatest protection against COVID-19 – for more information, go to NHS inform to see if you’re eligible for a vaccine.