Face masks must remain to protect the vulnerable

Protective face masks must remain where older and vulnerable people are being looked after even after lockdown restrictions are completely lifted, the ICG said today.

And they are also worried about the impact of a ‘free for all’ if all restrictions on visiting in care and nursing homes are lifted alongside other renewed freedoms.

The ICG said the threat to older and vulnerable people of all ages had not gone away even though the Prime Minister has announced that Freedom Day will be on 19th July.

ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “Everyone wants to get life back to normal, but as the Prime Minister said at the start of his announcement, we are ‘very far from the end of dealing with this virus’.

“Cases are still rising and those people of all ages being looked after in care and nursing homes, as well as in their own homes, remain the most vulnerable to Covid-19.

“I would therefore say that masks should remain compulsory for all those working in and visiting care settings for the foreseeable future.

“I also believe that care settings have to remain vigilant and careful around visiting and not let it become a free for all.

“In case people need reminding, we have lost 32,000 people in care and nursing homes to Covid-19 – we don’t want to lose any more mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles or friends.

“Yes, we welcome a return to some freedoms but believe me, nobody in the social care sector is demob happy quite yet.”