Since early June (2020) we have been politely encouraging all patients visiting our pharmacies to wear a face covering, as of the 24th July 2020 this is now mandatory, as per the new government guidelines.
A face covering can be a face mask, fabric mask, scarf, bandana or any other item that covers the nose and mouth. There are a list of exemptions, which can be found below, and it is important to know that you WILL NOT be refused entry into the pharmacy if you do not have a face covering.
Anyone entering our pharmacies without wearing a face covering will be politely asked if they have a face covering that they can put on.
It is not for us to police the wearing of face coverings. However, it is in everyone’s interests that as many people as possible wear face coverings inside our pharmacies.
This is in line with face coverings being worn when they are attending hospitals or GP practices.
It also adds another layer of protection helping to protect both our staff and patients.
COVID-19 can spread predominantly by droplets from coughs, sneezes and speaking. These droplets can also be picked up from surfaces if you touch a surface and then your face without washing your hands first. This is why social distancing, regular hand hygiene, and covering coughs and sneezes is so important in controlling the spread of the virus.
The best available scientific evidence is that when used correctly, wearing a face-covering may reduce the spread of Coronavirus droplets in certain circumstances, helping to protect others.
Because face coverings are mainly intended to protect others, not the wearer, from Coronavirus (COVID-19) they are not a replacement for social distancing and regular hand washing.
Government guidance states that some individuals are exempt from the need to wear face coverings. They are:
🔘 Children under the age of 11
🔘 Anyone with a disability that means they can’t put a mask on, wear one or remove it
🔘 Anyone with anatomical difficulties or disabilities
🔘 If putting on a face mask would cause them severe distress e.g. those with severe claustrophobia
🔘 Anyone who requires the use of lip reading to communicate or they are with someone who needs to lip-read
🔘 Anyone with a physical or mental health impairment that prevents them from wearing a face mask.
🔘 In the event to avoid harm or injury
🔘 In the event, to avoid injury or to escape a risk of harm and they do not have a face-covering with them
If you are not exempt and are not willing to put on or purchase a face mask or covering, we will NOT refuse to dispense your prescription, but we may politely ask you to wait outside while your prescription is prepared.
If for medical reasons, you need to eat, drink or take medication you may remove your covering to do so.
Yes! We have a range of different face masks available to buy inside the pharmacy, should you wish to do so.
You are under NO OBLIGATION to buy one in order to be served.
For more information please visit Public Health England.