Local NHS issues important face covering guidance as we return to ‘Plan A’

General / Thu 27th Jan 2022 pm31 03:08pm

THANKS to the success of the booster programme, England returned to ‘Plan A’ today (Thursday 27 January).

However, patients in Hertfordshire and west Essex will still be required to wear face coverings in GP practices, hospitals, and other healthcare settings when COVID-19 restrictions ease later this week.

NHS guidance in healthcare settings has not changed, and patients and visitors who are not exempt from wearing a face covering should continue to wear one and practice social distancing.  Those who are not fully vaccinated are strongly encouraged to come forward and get their first, second or booster dose, now. 

Dr Rachel Joyce, Director of Clinical and Professional Services for the Hertfordshire and West Essex Integrated Care System said:

“Throughout the pandemic, health and care staff have been working tirelessly to care for patients and service users safely.  There will be no change in health and care settings from Thursday 27 January – patients and carers arriving at our health and care buildings will still need to wear a mask, socially distance and use hand sanitiser.

“The virus has not gone away and case numbers are still high due to the spread of the Omicron variant. Wearing a face covering is an effective way of preventing the spread of infection, particularly in busy or crowded indoor spaces.

“We appreciate people’s support and understanding for the welfare of staff and other patients – some of whom are very sick and vulnerable. 

“It’s also really important that anyone who is eligible for a vaccine and hasn’t yet come forward does so without delay.  Our vaccinators are always delighted to welcome people attending for the first time.” 


Please come forward for your vaccination now if you are in one of these groups:

  • 12-15 year-olds can get their second vaccination from three months after their first dose, either via an appointment booked online or by calling 119, at some of our local walk-in clinics, or at school. Children who have had COVID-19 must leave a 12-week gap between their positive test or the start of symptoms and their next COVID vaccination. 
  • Anyone aged 16+ who had their second dose more than 12 weeks ago can get a booster by booking an appointment or going to an advertised walk-in clinic.
  • Immunocompromised patients are now eligible for a fourth vaccine dose three months after their third dose and will be contacted by their GP practice.  Alternatively, they can book an appointment or walk in if they are already at 12 weeks
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women can attend our walk-in vaccination sites for a first, second or booster dose, without the need for an appointment. Please make yourself know to staff on site and you will be ‘fast tracked’ past any queues.

Plans are currently being drawn-up to ensure that 5-11 year-old children who are known to be at high risk from COVID-19, or who live with family members who are known to be at high risk because of having a weakened immune system, can start to get vaccinated from next week onwards. 

Walk-in clinics – where no appointment is needed – are advertised on the Hertfordshire and west Essex COVID vaccination microsite, at this address: https://covid.healthierfuture.org.uk/walk-ins 

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4 Comments for Local NHS issues important face covering guidance as we return to ‘Plan A’:

2022-01-27 18:45:38

So can we see a GP now in the flesh .

Nicky Hutchinson
2022-01-27 23:54:12

Why is Robert Halfon allowed to be Chair of the Education Select Committee when he openly supports UsForThem who are working hard to ensure that our pupils and teachers have no protection. Surely this is a conflict of Interest. How can you scrutinise the DfE when your views are so set in stone. Secondly, if Halfon wants kids in school, why is he not asking why the vaccination for 5-11’s is being withheld despite its use the world over and approval by MHRA.

Toni Prickett
2022-01-28 11:11:10

After spending a hellish 24 hours so far with a very poorly 11 year old with Covid I also question how on Earth Robert Halfon is still in his position as chair of Commons Ed. I firmly believe his support of Us for Them and their campaigns for schools to basically be run as some kind of utopia where covid doesn’t exist is responsible for thousands of children being ill, thousands of parents losing wages caring for them and then being ill themselves. So much more could be done to stop this and he stands in the way at every turn touting Us for Them ideas to the HOC and his committee while ignoring actual real grassroots parents.

2022-01-28 16:54:34

Robert Halfon’s #ProCovid ideas are bringing schools, the NHS, and the nation to its knees, while most of us are trying to get on with it. we are being hamstrung by a politician with ties to “us for them” who have consistently worked to increase the spread of covid in schools

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