Covid Scotland: Relaxation of face mask rule welcomed by deaf community but many remain cautious

The Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) said many people it represents would be delighted when the rule is lifted for weddings, funerals and worship on Monday, and in wider settings on April 18.

“While we should all continue to be careful and act responsibly, being able to see lip patterns and facial expressions is essential and face masks have made communication difficult, if not impossible, for one in five deaf adults. or hard of hearing in Scotland,” said Roger Wicks, RNID’s associate director for policy.

Register to our public service bulletins – get the latest news on Coronavirus

Register to our public service bulletins – get the latest news on Coronavirus

The move has also been welcomed by some people with dementia and their loved ones, while others remain cautious.

Face coverings will no longer be mandatory in shops, restaurants or public transport from April 18. Photo by Adrian DENNIS/AFP) (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images

Jim Pearson, director of policy and practice at Alzheimer Scotland, said: “Some people welcome the change in legislation in April – there is no doubt that face masks limit communication, with so many people living with dementia who rely on facial expression for prompts, reassurance, and comfort.

“We have heard from families visiting loved ones who live in care homes in Scotland how devastating it has been to have such barriers, particularly when the rest of society can spend time together in their own homes, bars and pubs without face coverings.

But Mr Pearson added: “Conversely, we know how anxious people with dementia, their families and carers are about going to groups, places of worship, shops etc. at any given time. where regulations are loosening but infection rates continue to soar.”

Immunocompromised or otherwise vulnerable Scots said they felt ignored by the rule change.

He and his wife Fiona said they were “extremely alarmed” by the rule change, and it seemed “ridiculous” given current records for Covid infections and hospitalizations.

“There’s no way we’ll feel confident about being in indoor public spaces if people are walking around without the most basic, easy-to-use and effective public protection available,” they said. declared.

Read more

Read more

Covid Scotland: Face mask law will remain in most settings until April 18

“Many will interpret the end of the mandate as a signal that face coverings are no longer necessary. Advice is really not enough.

“It really feels like the people most vulnerable to Covid are being completely ignored.”

Jo Nove, acting chief executive of blood cancer charity Myeloma UK, said: “The relaxation of the rules on face masks will cause huge anxiety among immunocompromised people, who will undoubtedly feel left behind. matter as the rest of the world moves forward.”

She added: “Our concern is that without mask wearing and mandatory testing, many will feel they have no choice but to revert to some form of protection and limit their contact with others.

Clinically vulnerable patients should not be treated as second-class citizens. They deserve to feel safe, listened to and protected.

Mr Wicks added: “For members of the public who want or need to continue wearing a face mask, we urge them to follow our simple communication advice and use a transparent mask or lower their mask if talking to a deaf or hard of hearing person.

A message from the editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We are counting on your support more than ever, as the change in consumption habits caused by the coronavirus has an impact on our advertisers.

If you haven’t already, consider supporting our trusted and verified journalism by subscribing to a subscription.

About Roberto Frank

Check Also

Plains blizzard heralds unusually cold weather for Lower 48

Comment this story Comment The first major winter storm of the season, which has ravaged …