With the Chief’s announcing that pretty much all Covid laws will end on March 31, Manx Care has said it will continue to require people to wear masks in health and social care settings, at least for now.
This includes all visitors and patients attending outpatient appointments, community clinics and GP surgeries.
A statement from Manx Care said it has worked with the gov on its planned change from pandemic to endemic but, ‘at this time, is choosing a cautious and proportionate approach’.
This position will continue to be reviewed regularly, with the ultimate objective that face masks will not be required in health and social care settings unless this is required for clinical reasons, or for personal choice. Fresh masks are provided free at the entrance to all of Manx Care’s health and social care settings, and are the best protection for patients, visitors, and those around them when worn correctly.
Manx Care has updated its visiting policies so there is no longer a need pre-book their visit or complete a visitor registration form. To minimise congestion across patient areas, it is encouraging one person at a time to visit a friend or relative, although additional visitors may be accommodated at the discretion of the Nurse in Charge (in a hospital setting) or a Registered Manager (in an Adult Social Care facility).
People visiting are also still be encouraged to take an LFD test shortly before attending.
Signalling a return to the ‘new normal’ some services based at Noble’s Hospital will return to their original locations over the next few weeks, for example the Blood Clinic. A number of services were re-located as part of the Covid-19 response. Further details will be shared on these changes in due course.
Chief Executive Teresa Cope said: ‘We will continue to work with Isle of Man Government and relevant parties to monitor the situation with the aim of returning our health services to normal when possible but at this time we are working to protect all of the vulnerable people in our care and so face masks and the use of LFDs before visiting any of our sites will continue for now. The virus has not gone away and the pandemic is not over yet hence the need for us to continue operating with caution at the moment, albeit we welcome the transition towards an endemic approach.’