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  1. ITV Report

Southampton Hospital Trust asks staff to shave beards in fight against coronavirus

Hospital staff in Southampton have been asked to shave their beards in a bid to limit the spread of coronavirus.

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust sent a mass email to staff to tackle the "known problem" of ill fitting masks on bearded faces.

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust sent an all staff email Credit: ITV Meridian

The email was sent by the Trust's Medical Director, Derek Sandeman.

Attached to the email was an image from the United State's Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The image does not relate specifically to coronavirus.

The illustration showed 36 different kinds of facial hair and whether they can fit inside a mask.

The email attached an image from United State Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Credit: CDC

The email asked people to shave off their facial hair because it limits the protection of masks.

The detailed diagram states small moustaches such as the 'Zorro' and 'Painter's Brush' will fit under the mask, but beards like the 'Garibaldi' and the 'French Fork' are unacceptable.

Derek Sandman, Medical Director of University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust said that stubble and beards "make it impossible to get a good seal of the mask to the face".

However, staff with beards for religious or cultural reasons are exempt.

"I am writing to ask those who do not have a strong cultural or religious reason for a beard and who are working in at-risk areas to consider shaving."

– Derek Sandeman, Medical Director of University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust
The email advised staff to shave their facial hair to increase face mask protection

More information and advice from the NHS can be found here.