Scotland have now removed the legal requirement for wearing facemasks, applying to care home staff, visitors and home care workers.
Social Care Minister Kevin Stewart said: “Removing the need for face masks in social care settings including care homes is the latest step in our path to recovering from the pandemic.
“This will make communication and relationships easier in care settings, benefiting mental health and promoting the rights and choices of those working in and using social care.”
Now, this announcement follows reports of drastic drops in COVID-19 infections and a reduction in the severity of the illness.
Care homes will be advised to put this into place as of tomorrow, 14th September, over 2 years after the first Coronavirus case in the UK was detected.
Masks and face coverings may still be required in some situations such as another outbreak, but staff are free to make their own decisions on if they would personally like to still wear a face covering.
It is hoped that the recommendation being dropped will allow care home residents and their loved ones to benefit from more relaxed visiting arrangements.
In England, the guidance currently states ‘face masks should be worn by all care workers and encouraged for visitors in care settings and when providing care in people’s own homes, irrespective of whether the person being cared for is known or suspected to have Covid-19 or not’.
The Welsh government announced care home visitors no longer had to wear masks from 30 May. However, the guidance is still in place for care home staff and home care workers.
In Northern Ireland, face masks are still required for care home staff, visitors and home care workers.