Doctors in Northern Ireland have expressed concern at the increasing number of patients and hospital visitors who are not wearing masks and their aggressive behaviour when they are challenged for not wearing them.
Dr David Farren, deputy chair of BMA Northern Ireland's consultants committee said that face coverings are "a requirement in government-owned buildings". However, this is now putting an additional burden on the NHS because there are more people refusing to take Covid-19 tests before coming for hospital appointments or when attending emergency departments.
Dr Farren confirmed that patients and visitors without masks were being asked by staff to wear one. However, there were "increasing reports of aggressive behaviour towards our staff when challenging those who refuse to wear masks without a medical exemption".