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Nine in 10 GPs want face coverings to be mandatory if social distancing impossible

Nine in 10 GPs want face coverings to be made mandatory where social distancing is not possible, the BMA has said.

It comes as GPs have been inundated with questions from patients about the new requirement to wear a face covering in shops in England from next week. 

But according to a recent BMA survey, 90% of almost 2,000 GPs agree that the use of face coverings ‘should be made mandatory in all settings where social distancing is not possible’.

The majority (68%) ‘strongly agree’ this should be the case, while 22% said they ‘somewhat agree’.

Just 4% disagreed with the statement, while 5% said they ‘neither agree nor disagree’ and less than 1% said they ‘don’t know’.

People in England will be legally required to wear a face mask in shops as well as on public transport from 24 July.

Following an influx of queries to practices, the Government last week confirmed to Pulse that people will not need GP notes to prove they are exempt.

PHE guidance also stipulates patients should wear face masks in hospitals, although there is no specific advice for patients visiting GP practices. The DHSC has said this continues to be under review.

Last month, the BMA called for the public to be required to wear face coverings ‘as a matter of course’ as social distancing rules are eased.

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