NHSWI have told anyone visiting hospital they must now wear a supplied clinical mask.
To keep patients and staff safe, NHS Western Isles is now requiring all staff, visitors and those attending healthcare appointments at hospitals and other premises to wear a clinical face mask on entry to the premises.
For anyone entering hospitals, or attending a healthcare appointment (e.g. vaccination clinic), individuals’ own face coverings will no longer be permitted.
Clinical masks, which will be provided, must be worn on entry, in communal areas (e.g. corridors, stairways, lifts), and in all clinical areas.
Anyone medically exempt from wearing a mask must present a Scottish Government Exemption Card – other forms of exemption card will not be accepted.
Those eligible for an exemption card can obtain one by visiting www.exempt.scot or via the free helpline at 0800 121 6240.
A spokesman for NHS western Isles said: “The best available scientific evidence is that, when used correctly, face masks can provide some additional protection, especially in crowded and less well-ventilated spaces, and where two metre distancing is not possible.
“We would remind everyone that face masks are an additional measure in place and do not replace physical distancing, or hygiene measures.
“NHS Western Isles is also reminding patients to attend their appointments on time - please do not arrive too early or too late. Patients are also asked to attend appointments alone where possible, unless assistance is required.
“We would like to thank all staff, patients and visitors for their ongoing co-operation as we implement every step we can to keep our communities and staff safe.”
It is imperative that everyone takes a personal responsibility to help protect the wider community, as well as protecting health and social care services.
FACTS guidance should be adhered to in all circumstances:
F – Face coverings. These should be used in shops and on public transport (buses, trains and taxis)
A – Avoid crowded places.
C – Clean your hands frequently, using water & soap whenever possible.
T – Two metres – observe physical distancing.
S – Self-isolate and book a test if you are suffering from COVID-19 symptoms.