August 3rd 2021

Do I Still Have to Wear a Mask When Visiting My Vet?

On 19 July 2021, England witnessed the easing of many restrictions that have been in place across the United Kingdom for over a year that have impacted many areas of all our lives.

In today’s blog, we outline if you, as a patient, need to wear a mask when visiting your vets and what measures practices are advised to have in place.

The BVA (British Veterinary Association) the professional body that regulates vets across the UK, has recently updated its guidelines as to what procedures veterinary practices need to follow. It has been advised that members of the public are required to wear face coverings inside veterinary practices, unless they are exempt for age, health, or equality reasons.

What’s more, the BVA has stressed that practices ask clients to let them know at the time of booking an appointment if they are exempt (without asking for the reason) so that appropriate steps can be taken to ensure the safety of all.

Do Veterinary Staff Have to Wear a Mask?

For staff the rules vary across the UK:

  • In Scotland and Wales, it is mandatory for staff to wear face coverings
  • In England, vet practices are not explicitly listed but practices should assess the use; and
  • In Northern Ireland it’s not mandatory where social distancing can be maintained, but it is advised.

For more information, see the BVA advice for veterinary professionals.

The BVA also stresses that vets continue to risk assess where possible and work in a manner that reduces close contact in line with government advice.

As a client, you may have to wait outside whilst your animal receives treatment and, if entering a practice, you may see the use of PPE.

The last 19 months have, undoubtedly, been difficult for all. As we move into a more ‘normal’ way of interacting and conducting our daily lives, the VCMS urges that we are considerate to those around us.

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