COVID-19: Masks reintroduced in health and care settings

In the last few weeks we’ve seen the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the city, and across England increase. This means you’re likely to know friends, family members or colleagues who have had COVID-19 recently.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) COVID-19 infection survey data shows 1 in 30 people in Brighton & Hove testing positive for COVID-19.

This is slightly lower than the estimated rate for England which is 1 in 25 (data correct for 24 June, as published on 1 July).

Alongside this, we are now seeing a higher number of patients with confirmed COVID-19 in hospital and UKHSA expects hospital numbers to rise further over the summer.

Masks reintroduced in health and care settings in Brighton & Hove

Mask wearing is being reintroduced in all health and care settings in the city to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect those who are most vulnerable.

The NHS in Sussex has reintroduced mask wearing in all clinical health services. Anyone attending a clinical healthcare setting, for example a GP practice, consulting rooms, outpatient departments, clinics and wards, will be asked to wear a mask. This applies to patients, visitors and staff, although exemptions will be respected.

We now recommend that visitors as well as all staff in all care settings should wear masks. This includes care homes, supported living, home care and offices in care settings. Masks will be made available for visitors to use.

The reintroduction of masks from Friday 8 July is in response to local risk assessment of high and rising numbers of COVID-19 cases, outbreaks and numbers of hospital admissions with COVID-19.

It will:

  • protect staff, residents and those who are clinically vulnerable
  • support care settings around business continuity with the aim of reducing staff sickness
  • align care settings with the NHS advice for clinical settings, including the recommendation for the use of fluid resistant surgical masks where there are vulnerable people

It will also continue to be required for everyone to clean their hands on entering any health or care facilities as often as possible using soap and water or hand sanitiser and ensuring good ventilation.

Advice for residents to protect themselves and others as cases rise

COVID-19 has not gone away.

Please be alert to symptoms, follow guidance where it is in place, get your COVID-19 vaccinations and do what you can to reduce your chances of catching or spreading the virus.

Avoid contact with others if you feel unwell, have a temperature or have flu or Covid-like symptoms

Whether it’s COVID-19 or another virus, it’s important not to spread it to others.

If you feel unwell, have a temperature, or have flu or Covid-like symptoms, try to stay at home and avoid contact with others.

  • Try to work from home if you can or talk to your employer about other options available for you.
  • If you’ve got a medical or dental appointment, or someone is doing work in your home, let them know about your symptoms and try to rearrange.
  • If you need to leave home, wear a mask or face covering, avoid crowded or enclosed places, and stay away from those at high risk from COVID-19.

Let fresh air in if meeting inside

In poorly ventilated areas any virus in the air can build up. Letting fresh air if you are meeting indoors or meeting outside reduces the chance of spreading COVID-19.

Wear a face covering in places where there is a higher risk of transmission

Wear a face mask in all health and care settings to protect the most vulnerable and consider wearing a face covering in other crowded or enclosed places while infection rates are high.

Maintain good hygiene

Wash your hands regularly and cover coughs and sneezes to reduce the spread of all viruses.

Get all your COVID-19 vaccinations

A full course of a COVID-19 vaccine provides protection against hospitalisation, severe illness and death, and reduces your risk of long-term symptoms such as long covid. But this protection wears off over time. Booster doses significantly improve the protection offered by vaccines.

If you haven't had all your vaccines, you can come forward at any time.

Young people aged 5 to 15

Everyone aged 5 and over can get a 1st and 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Some children aged 12 and over with a severely weakened immune system have additionally been offered a 3rd dose and a booster (4th dose).

A limited number of sessions are currently available to book at Brighton Racecourse for 5-15 year olds through the National Booking System. As soon as new times or dates are available they will be added, so please keep looking if you can’t find one that suits you.

We’re working on arrangements to make more bookable and walk-in sessions available in the city as soon as possible.

People aged 16 or over

Those aged 16 or over are eligible for their two initial Covid jabs and a booster.

Some people with a severely weakened immune system have additionally been offered a 3rd dose as well as their booster (4th dose).

To get one of your vaccinations, book online or find a walk-in site.

The COVID-19 vaccination centre at Churchill Square has now closed but vaccines continue to be available across the city through local clinics, some pharmacies and mobile units, which will continue visiting regular and new sites throughout the summer.

Walk in vaccination sessions available in Brighton & Hove this weekend

Friday 15 July: 9am to 2.30pm  Brighton Racecourse (18+) 
  10am to 2pm Asda  Brighton Marina (18+)
  10.30am to 2.30pm  St Peter's Church (16+)
Saturday 16 July: 9am to 11am  Brighton Racecourse (age 5-15)
  10.30am to 2.30pm  Asda Hollingbury (18+)
  10.30am to 2.30pm  Hove Lawns (18+)
  12.30pm to 2.30pm  Brighton Racecourse (18+)
Sunday 17 July: 10.30am to 2.30pm  Waitrose car park (18+)

For the latest list of walk-in sessions please see the Sussex Health & Care website.

Talk to the vaccine team if you have concerns about getting your vaccine

There are many reasons why people haven’t had their vaccines yet. Not everyone feels comfortable having an injection, some people are scared of needles or needle-phobic, some may be anxious about leaving the house, visiting an unfamiliar place or worried about side-effects of the different vaccines, and others may be struggling to get out to a vaccine site.

If you have any concerns or need support to get the vaccine, you can talk to someone to find the best way for you to get your COVID-19 vaccination.

To talk to one of the vaccine team, please call 0300 303 8060 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) or email:

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