PRE-PANDEMIC guidance on facemask use has returned in health and social care settings as of today.

From Tuesday, May 16, mask use will be based on clinical need, such as infection prevention.

It means staff, patients and service visitors will not routinely be asked to wear facemasks in health and social care settings.

The change follows a review of the guidance introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic to protect staff, patients, service users and visitors.

Alex McMahon, Scotland's chief nursing officer, said: “Due to the success of vaccines in protecting people, and the availability of treatments, now is the right time to revise the advice on wearing masks in health and social care settings and return to pre-pandemic guidance.

“We recognise that some staff may have concerns around the withdrawal of this guidance and would expect organisations to undertake individual occupational health assessments and risk assessments as appropriate.

“We continue to be vigilant in our response to Covid-19 and encourage everyone to make sure they are up to date with the boosters available to them.

“We are grateful for the tireless work of health and social care teams during these challenging times and to everyone who has helped them by adhering to the guidance.”