FACE masks ‘are no longer essential’ at Gibraltar’s health facilities, after numbers of Covid and flu cases dropped across the British territory.

Director of Public Health Dr Helen Carter said she had made the decision with the Gibraltar Health Authority Executive Board.

Effective immediately, wearing a mask at St Bernard’s Hospital, the Primary Care Centre or elderly residential homes is only optional.

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But Carter urged people to get their Covid and influenza jabs and continue to be careful.

“It is important to recognize that these viruses are still prevalent in our community,” she said.

“Even though we are removing the requirement to wear face masks at GHA facilities, it remains important to protect our most vulnerable patients.”

An outbreak of flu at one of the elderly wards originally led to the introduction of masks.

“We ask anyone with flu-like symptoms not visit patients in St Bernard’s Hospital or elderly care homes,”

“We would encourage anyone who is eligible and has not already done so, to have the flu and Covid vaccines and continue to protect our community”.T

Elderly and vulnerable people are affected more by respiratory diseases, the GHA reminded.

The removal of the mandatory mask rule took effect on January 24.

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