Face coverings and social distancing to remain in place in NHS settings

The NHS will continue to support staff in ensuring that COVID-19 guidance is followed in all healthcare settings.

15 July 2021

NHS patients, staff and visitors must continue to wear face coverings in healthcare settings as restrictions ease in many settings in England from Monday 19 July 2021.

Addressing the public, Chief Nursing Officer for England, Ruth May, reminded the nation anyone accessing or visiting healthcare settings must continue to wear a face covering and follow social distancing rules.

Whilst many settings will no longer implement social distancing rules, Public Health England’s infection prevention guidelines and hospital guidance will remain in place for all staff and visitors. You can read more about this, including further views from health leaders on the NHS England and NHS Improvement website

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said:  This is exactly what health leaders across the country needed to hear as we head towards the final coronavirus restrictions lifting in England as it will validate their intention to continue following the existing infection control guidelines. It is not too much to ask of those visiting or using NHS services to continue wearing a mask and respecting social distancing measures if it can keep themselves and those around them safe from this horrible disease.”

The NHS Confederation will also be shortly launching its new initiative Not Too Much To Mask to help support informed personal choices once restrictions lift.

COVID-19 guidance

Visit our web pages about risk assessments for staff and infection control during COVID-19 for further information.

Read more about how we're supporting the NHS workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic on our web section.