Dominic Raab Defends Boris Johnson’s Maskless Hospital Visit In Spite Of Official Hospital Guidance

by : Julia Banim on : 09 Nov 2021 11:13
Dominic Raab Defends Boris Johnson's Maskless Hospital Visit In Spite Of Guidance He Wrote HimselfBBC News

Dominic Raab has defended Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision not to wear a mask during a recent visit to Hexham General Hospital in Northumberland.

The PM was widely criticised after photos emerged of him walking around the hospital corridors without a mask, greeting nurses who all appeared to be masked up correctly.


However, despite this sort of behaviour going against all advice outlined by Hexham General Hospital, the deputy prime minister has insisted that Johnson had ‘followed all the protocols and procedures’ during his visit.

As per the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust website, visitors are expected to ‘wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and observe social distancing’ once inside the hospital.

The guidelines stipulate:


Please wash your hands at the hospital entrance and wear a face covering when you enter the hospital until you leave. If you have not got a face mask a surgical mask will be supplied.

Visitors are urged to wear a covering ‘throughout your visit’, and are told not to remove ‘your face covering/mask or kiss your loved one’.

However, even when confronted with footage of Johnson walking around without a mask on during an interview with BBC Breakfast, Raab insisted multiple times that the PM had followed guidance, stating:

I think the right thing to do in all those settings is to take the advice that you’ve got, follow the guidance very carefully, and I know that’s what the PM did.


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Even when host Sally Nugent read Raab a statement from the hospital specifying that face masks should be worn ‘at all times’, he stuck fast to the same line, asserting that ‘my understanding is that the Prime Minister followed all the guidance that was given to him from the moment he was at the hospital’.

In a statement shared on social media, the NHS Trust said Johnson had worn a face covering when in the clinical areas, stating, ‘Please be assured that infection prevention and control remains an utmost priority for our Trust.’

This controversy comes just one week after Johnson was photographed seated beside beloved national treasure Sir David Attenborough, 95, at the Cop26 climate change summit without a mask on.


Again, this appeared to be in direct breach of guidelines, with COP26 guidance stipulating that those in attendance should ‘wear a face covering at all times except when eating, drinking, sitting in office/meeting spaces or conducting negotiations; or if medically exempt’.

If you’ve been affected by coronavirus and want up to date advice, visit the Gov.uk help page here. If you need medical help call NHS 111 or visit online

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, Boris Johnson, dominic raab


Northumbria Healthcare and 1 other
  1. Northumbria Healthcare

    Hexham General Hospital

  2. BBC Breakfast/Twitter