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Face masks are being phased out in Ireland’s hospitals… effective from April 19

DUBLIN – To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the requirement to wear face masks in hospitals and other healthcare settings in Ireland is being waived.

From the end of this month, the universal use of face masks will also be relaxed. This will take effect on April 19. This is according to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre’s new public health guidelines (HPSC). The conditions, including the face mask, were implemented as part of the prevention and control measures during the COVID period.

The guidance states that healthcare workers, patients, and visitors may avoid wearing face masks. Decisions in this regard can be made locally. Masks may also be recommended in certain circumstances, according to the report. When interacting with patients who have respiratory viral symptoms, the HPSC recommends that healthcare workers wear surgical masks or respirator masks.

When dealing with high-risk patients in long-term care, respirator masks and eye protection should also be used. The guideline also suggests that patients in open multi-bed wards who come into contact with patients suffering from other illnesses be given masks.

The guidance will apply to acute hospital settings, including community hospitals, acute mental health services, and inpatient acute rehabilitation centres. According to the HPSC, the terms also apply to residential care facilities and specialist in-patient palliative care services.

The HSE clarified that the recommendations in the HPSC guidelines regarding mask use can be modified based on local circumstances.

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