The clinic has decided that mask wearing be entirely a matter of personal choice both for practitioners and patients whilst in communal spaces within the clinic. In the light of this patients should feel free to make their own choice about wearing a mask in the waiting room.
Guidance from the British Acupuncture Council make it clear that wearing a face mask in the context of a 'close contact service' is no longer a legal requirement. They leave the choice to the practitioner whether to insist on face masks or not during treatment. They further suggest that patients do no longer need to an 'accepted' reason to choose not to wear a mask. However government advice recommends encouraging the use of face coverings 'by workers or customers in enclosed and crowded spaces.’ (1). Based on this advice I will encourage my patients to continue to wear a mask whilst in the treatment room but they may still come for treatment if they choose not to.
I will continue to wear a mask during treatments for the time being, as it is still considered best practice to do so.
British Acupuncture Council. 2021 'Addendum to the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 Guidlines for practice version 2, 16 April 2021: Update 25 August 2021.'