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The governments of England and Wales have withdrawn their final COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Controls (IPC) rules, namely the PPE requirement for face masks to be worn in healthcare settings unless there is a known Covid infection risk.

For Scotland, the use of face masks will continue in healthcare settings, although expectations are that this rule may be withdrawn in July. Face mask use is still encouraged in Northern Ireland.

With the lifting of Covid-specific IPC rules in England and Wales, registrants should now follow national IPC guidance and undertake the appropriate risk assessments to ensure the safety of patients and employees, which, in some cases, may still require personal protection equipment (PPE) to be deployed.

With COVID-19 now classified as endemic within our population, it is entirely appropriate for additional or specific COVID-19 considerations to be made by registrants, such as pre-appointment patient screening for a high temperature, continuous cough, or loss of taste or smell.

The GCC would advise all registrants to keep updated with national public health rules from their respective governments and professional associations.