BA.4 and BA.5 are the strains associated with the Omicron variant that appeared last winter. These two new subvariants are thought to be more transmissible as well as able to evade the immune protection from vaccines and previous infections. This has prompted some hospitals to bring back face masks.
Whether you ditched your mask or kept it shut in a drawer, face coverings made an exit back in April.
While some people kept wearing a mask as a personal choice, the law no longer requires a face covering.
However, the recent surge in cases has made some hospitals re-evaluate their mask policy.
Although face coverings are not enforceable by law, certain hospitals are now making them mandatory.
Hospitals in Hampshire, Wales, Cambridge and Cornwall have introduced mandatory masks for patients, staff and visitors, according to The Times.
In Wales, three of the seven health boards have brought masks back, the BBC reports.
Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, has even banned visitors apart from those seeing patients in end-of-life care.
These changes have been made based on the “increasing prevalence of COVID-19” at the site.
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