Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on the extended use of face masks and face coverings in hospitals, primary care, wider community care and adult care homes

Published: 9 Nov 2020
Last updated: 7 Jun 2021 - see all updates

Guidance on the extended use of face masks and face coverings by staff within acute hospitals, community hospitals, primary care and wider community care, together with advice for visitors to care homes and hospitals, including those attending for an appointment.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on the extended use of face masks and face coverings in hospitals, primary care, wider community care and adult care homes
General guidance

General guidance

In summary, all individuals accessing care as a) an outpatient should be asked to wear a face covering (unless exempt); and b) as an inpatient in hospital or resident in a care home receiving direct care or in a communal area -  should be asked to wear a FRSM. For people who lack capacity, a discussion should take place with their legal guardian or a family member.

Staff should continue to wear appropriate PPE (including a FRSM) when providing direct care in line with the Scottish COVID19 addendum and ensure other IPC measures, such as hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, physical distancing are observed and that ventilation is safely optimised wherever possible.

In NHS Scotland, FRSMs should be made available to all inpatients and residents. As outlined above, guidance on inpatient mask wearing is also included within the Scottish COVID-19 Addendum.

Separate guidance has been issued for adult social care building-based day services, which outlines that supported people using the service do not need to wear face coverings or masks.


First published: 9 Nov 2020 Last updated: 7 Jun 2021 -