FACEMASKS are being reintroduced into all clinical areas of Worcestershire hospitals after a Covid increase, it has been announced. 

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust announced the decision in a statement. 

The trust said: "From today (September 27) patients and visitors at the Alexandra, Kidderminster, and Worcestershire Royal Hospitals are being asked to wear facemasks in all clinical areas to protect themselves, their loved ones, and hospital staff against the risk of Covid infection.

Kidderminster Shuttle: FACEMASK: Facemasks are being reintroduced at Worcestershire hospitalsFACEMASK: Facemasks are being reintroduced at Worcestershire hospitals (Image: PA)

"With the number of Covid-positive patients in our hospitals increasing and with Covid-related staff sickness also on the rise, we want to do everything we can to protect the people we care for from the risk of infection, and we are grateful for the support and understanding of our patients and visitors.

"Masks are required in all inpatient and outpatient areas and will be made available to all patients and visitors on arrival."

The Covid-19 vaccination programme was recently brought forward across Worcestershire due to risk from a new variant.

Thousands of eligible people have been invited for the jabs to top up their protection as soon as possible.

The vaccine can be administered with the flu jab at the same appointment with the NHS saying both are vitally important to staying well this winter.

The new Covid variant, BA.2.86, has prompted the NHS to work as quickly as possible to ensure eligible people are vaccinated by the end of October.