HOSPITAL staff and patients will now have to wear surgical masks at all times, Matt Hancock has announced.
The Health Secretary today revealed everyone working in a hospital must wear the masks to help stop the spread of the virus.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
Speaking at the daily Downing Street press briefing, Mr Hancock also announced the Government was issuing new guidance for those working in clinical settings.
He said: “As the NHS reopens it is critically important to stop the spread.
“All hospital visitors and outpatients will need to wear face coverings.
“One of the things we have learnt is those in hospital are more likely to catch coronavirus whether they work in a clinical setting or not.
“All hospital staff will be required to wear type 1 or 2 surgical masks.
“It will cover all staff working in hospitals, apply at all times, not just when doing lifesaving work on the frontline.
“This will apply in all areas except designated covid secure workplaces.”
SAGE documents today revealed cloth face coverings are less safe than surgical face masks at stopping the spread of coronavirus.
But the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies warned they could still help stop transmission of the virus particularly when combined with social distancing.
The documents said: “Face masks can be used to protect the wearer (protective) or to prevent the wearer from spreading infection (source control).
“Face masks are less effective, and are no substitute for, other transmission control measures such as case isolation, hand hygiene and social distancing.”
Yesterday Brits were ordered to wear face masks on buses and trains — with fines for refusing.
Ministers will make it a “condition of carriage” for face coverings to be worn on public transport from June 15 in a bid to slash the spread of coronavirus.
Passengers without a face mask will not be allowed to board or told to get off at the next stop.
British Transport Police will have powers allowing them to issue on-the-spot fines to rule breakers. Young children, the disabled and those with breathing difficulties will be exempt.
So far, face masks on public transport have been only a suggestion.
But The Sun reported in April the growing consensus on their effectiveness in helping to reduce the virus’s spread.
And with more and more data suggesting the same, ministers are keen to enforce widespread use, especially with the numbers of businesses and schools reopening set to rise.
At Thursday’s Downing Street briefing, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said people in England will be “required to wear face coverings” on public transport both to protect themselves and others from mid-June.
Speaking yesterday, he said: “I can announce that as of Monday 15 June, face coverings will become mandatory on public transport.
“The evidence suggests that wearing a face masks offers some, limited protection.
“You can be refused travel if you don’t comply and you could be fined.
“It’s a condition of travel. You cannot travel if you are not wearing a face covering.”
Brits in line for an extra bank holiday this autumn after ministers back plans