The Government announced earlier this week that England will remove all remaining domestic COVID-19 restrictions from tomorrow (Thursday 24th February). This will include the requirement to self-isolate. Those suspected of having COVID are being urged to stay at home, although that guidance is expected to be dropped from 1st April.
Despite the changes and an effort to return life to normal, the infection prevention and control measures for healthcare settings, including St. Mary’s Hospital and its community-based locations, remain in place.
Patients and visitors at St Mary’s are still being expected to wear face masks and take a Lateral Flow Test within 24 hours prior to visiting the hospital.
Patients on certain wards that have been in hospital for over 7 days will continue to be permitted just 1 designated visitor for 1 hour a day.
There has been no mention from the Trust as to whether the security guards – or stewards as they prefer to be known – will remain on the entrance doors.
Juliet Pearce, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and AHPs, has said:
“It is important to remember that in order to protect vulnerable patients, there is separate guidance for healthcare settings to ensure those most at risk, are protected from COVID-19. The NHS has important measures in place to protect those in its care, such as our staff carrying out regular testing and face masks being required, and these remain in place from Thursday.
“As COVID-19 restrictions change, we would like to thank everyone who has followed the guidance and come forward for their vaccinations. Those actions have made a positive difference to our community.”
It’s unclear when – or if – things will return to normal at St Mary’s, although another change in guidance from 1st April may prompt restrictions to finally be lifted after more than 2 years.
Don’t miss another story! Get the Island’s latest news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up to our daily newsletter here.