Scottish police officers will be handed new equipment to give them added protection from coronavirus while out on the beat.
The force has announced that “type-2” fluid-resistant surgical masks will be issued to its workforce following advice from the UK Government and health authorities.
Officers and other staff at Police Scotland staff can choose to wear the protective equipment in “low risk” scenarios where social distancing from members of the public or colleagues is not possible.
When dealing with people who have confirmed or suspected cases of Covid-19, they must continue to follow police guidance and use the “FFP3” mask which comes with respiratory protection.
The type-2 surgical masks are said to be effective in both preventing spread of Covid-19 either from or to the wearer.
Deputy Chief Constable Malcolm Graham said the new equipment will be used as a “precaution” for employees.
He added: “We are committed to doing everything we can to protect the public and limit the spread of the virus, and to protect our own people as they carry out their duties.
“We recognise that every day our officers and staff are putting themselves in harm’s way and we want them to have the right protection to do their job.
“In line with scientific advice, these surgical masks will be available for use as a precaution for officers and staff dealing with incidents where social distancing measures are not possible. ”
He said: “Officers on routine patrol should not normally need to wear face masks, however they are being provided with the additional equipment to protect themselves, their colleagues and members of the public.
“The procurement of protective equipment continues to be challenging due to demand from across the emergency services but we are working hard to secure a sustainable supply of the masks for our people.”
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