With the Omicron variant of Covid identified in Essex, hospitals are reinforcing the message that staff and visitors must continue to wear face coverings.
People using Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust – which runs Basildon, Broomfield and Southend hospitals - must also follow social distancing rules and use hand gel for the safety of patients and staff.
From today (Tuesday 30 November) masks must be worn in shops and on public transport, and doing this at hospitals means the most vulnerable people will be protected as they receive treatment and care.
Dr David Walker, chief medical officer at the Trust, said: “With Covid cases continuing to rise, the wearing of face coverings and visitor restrictions remains in force at the Trust, as it has done throughout the pandemic. It has never been more vital in helping keep your families and our families safe this Christmas.
“Mask and hand gel stations are available at the entrances to all hospital sites, for use by visitors and staff. We also encourage people to have their Covid booster and flu vaccines, which will help keep patients and staff safe this winter.”
Visitor restrictions are in place across the Trust, with each patient allowed one visitor from 2-3pm or 6-7pm. Where patients are receiving end of life care, two visitors can be with them at any time.
The full Covid-19 guidance for patients and visitors is available here: Coronavirus (Covid-19) information for hospital visitors | Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust (mse.nhs.uk)
This wearing of masks is in line with hospitals, GP surgeries, pharmacies and other healthcare settings across the country.