The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) has written to the three main community pharmacy employer bodies — AIMp, CCA and NPA — to remind them of their members’ responsibilities to ensure adequate safety measures across the sector in England.
“It has now been confirmed that the wearing of face coverings will no longer be a legal requirement after July 19 in England. However, masks will still be recommended in circumstances such as when people meet those they do not normally encounter in enclosed and crowded spaces,” said PDA chairman Mark Koziol in the letter.
Governments in Wales and Scotland have confirmed that face coverings will continue to be mandated.
“More than half of our 32,000 members work in community pharmacy, and many are already raising concerns and want clarification about future pandemic safety measures in their workplaces. We believe that reaching an agreed sector standard as to how best to proceed in community pharmacy would be helpful and would like to work with you to reach such an agreement,” Koziol said.
“This would not only reassure pharmacy teams who need to be sure they are working in a safe and healthy environment, but also protect the millions of patients that will come to a community pharmacy each week as this global pandemic continues.”
The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has also asked pharmacists to follow the norms and guidelines. It has requested the people to continue to follow Covid-19 safety measures that remain in place in pharmacies to protect themselves, their communities, and pharmacy staff.
Over three-quarters of the 2,381 pharmacists that responded to a PDA survey in the last few days believe that all staff in their workplace should be required to wear masks, and almost 82 per cent think that patients and others attending a health care setting such as a pharmacy, GP practice or hospital should also be required to wear a mask. More than two thirds of those taking part in the survey practice in community pharmacy.
“We believe that the establishment of sensible core principles around the wearing of face coverings in healthcare settings, including pharmacies can guarantee consistency and clarity for people visiting those premises, whilst ensuring that pharmacy businesses can continue to operate successfully and that the safety of both the public and of staff is protected,” Koziol said.