All outpatients and visitors to the Royal United Hospitals in Bath are being asked to wear a face-covering at all times from today, Monday 15th June.
The move, which is in line with other hospitals in England, follows a direction from the Department of Health and Social Care to help reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus.
Face coverings can act as a barrier to prevent the spread of the virus from the wearer to others.
They can be purchased commercially or handmade, should cover the nose, mouth and chin and be secured with elastic loops or ties, include multiple layers, be washable and reusable.
There is information online about how to wear and make a face covering.
Anyone going to the RUH from today is asked to take their own face covering.
Disposable face masks will be available if that is not possible. You must wear your face covering as you enter the hospital via a main entrance or enter a department directly.
Volunteers will be on site to assist and to staff hand hygiene stations for people as they arrive and leave.
The RUH says that it understands that not all patients will be able to wear a face covering, such as young children or those with breathing difficulties.
Trust Interim Chief Executive Libby Walters said: “Government advice and evidence suggests that wearing a face covering alone is not sufficient to provide an adequate level of protection, so we’re urging everyone to follow our clearly-marked social distancing advice.
“Please keep to the left as you walk around our site and maintain a minimum physical distance of at least two metres from others.
“Clean your hands frequently and avoid touching your face and your face covering. Thank you for your support and understanding.”
Another difference people will see is that staff at the RUH will be wearing surgical masks, appropriate for their area and type of work.
Again, this is in line with government guidelines to maintain safety for visitors and staff at all times.
The public is reminded that visiting the RUH is currently suspended, other than in exceptional circumstances.