Social distancing ditched in NHS waiting rooms across the UK

·1-min read
(Lynne Cameron/PA) (PA Archive)
(Lynne Cameron/PA) (PA Archive)

Social distancing has been scrapped for patients in waiting rooms across England.

The changes have been put in place in the face of “the pressure from Covid-19 continuing”, senior NHS bosses said.

People at GP surgeries, NHS hospitals and emergency departments will still be encouraged to wear face coverings and exercise good hygiene.

NHS England officials said in a letter to regional health services, that guidance must “evolve” with the virus, as it remains likely to stick around for some time.

Following the latest advice from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), changes have been made to hospital cleaning routines.

Covid testing rules were changed earlier this month as part of the government’s Living with Covid strategy.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid in Parliament on Tuesday said: "The NHS and social care are facing unprecedented pressure because of the pandemic.

"In NHS settings and adult social care, there has been a necessity for infection-protection controls.

"Staff absences have been higher than in normal times but the NHS has been stepping forward to bring support with the record funding that the government is providing both to the NHS and to adult social care."

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