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NHS Western Isles is, from today (Monday February 1) requiring all staff, visitors and those attending healthcare appointments at our hospitals and other premises to wear a clinical face mask on entry to the premises.

For anyone entering our hospitals, or anyone attending a healthcare appointment (e.g. vaccination clinic), individuals’ own face coverings will not be permitted.

Clinical masks (which will be provided) must be worn on entry, in communal areas (e.g. corridors, stairways, lifts), and in all clinical areas.  

Anyone medically exempt from wearing a mask must present a Scottish Government Exemption Card – other forms of exemption card will not be accepted.

Those eligible for an exemption card can obtain the card by visiting www.exempt.scot or via the free helpline at 0800 121 6240.  

The best available scientific evidence is that, when used correctly, face masks can provide some additional protection, especially in crowded and less well-ventilated spaces, and where 2 metre distancing is not possible.  

"We would remind everyone that face masks are an additional measure in place and do not replace physical distancing, or hygiene measures.  

"NHS Western Isles is also reminding patients to attend their appointments on time - please do not arrive too early or too late.  

"Patients are also asked to attend appointments alone where possible, unless assistance is required.  

"We would like to thank all staff, patients and visitors for their ongoing cooperation as we implement every step we can to keep our communities and staff safe," says the NHS Western Isles statement.