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COVID-19: would nurses feel safer if patients had to wear masks?

With infection rates on the rise, wearing face coverings is ‘encouraged’ for patients in some settings – but some say it could be time to make them mandatory again

With infection rates on the rise, wearing face coverings is ‘encouraged’ for patients in some settings – but some say it could be time to make them mandatory again

NHS England and NHS Improvement guidance sent to trusts in June states that inpatients are not required to wear masks.

Exceptions to this are areas where patients have confirmed or suspected COVID-19. Where there is elevated risk as a result of immunosuppression, for example in oncology or haematology departments, patients ‘may be encouraged’ to wear face coverings, it says.

‘Encouragement’ to wear masks can easily be ignored

But if ‘encouragement’ merely

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