SDLP MLA Patsy McGlone has urged hospital patients and their visitors to wear face coverings when required.
It comes after the British Medical Association said doctors has noticed an increasing number of people refusing to wear masks or get tested for coronavirus before attending hospital appointments or visits.
The Mid-Ulster MLA said, “It is very worrying to hear that hospital staff have noticed an increase in the number of people refusing to follow Covid-19 regulations in hospitals. Our health staff have enough to deal with, they work in a very challenging environment at the best of times and this has only gotten worse during the pandemic.
“The least the public can do is wear a face covering and follow the other guidelines to keep themselves and those around them safe. Many health staff are at breaking point after a difficult 18 months and the last thing they need is to have to deal with people refusing to show basic courtesy.
“While we are continuing to make progress and our vaccination rollout has been a huge success, we are still reporting large numbers of coronavirus cases, people are still being admitted to hospital with the virus and it is still claiming lives. The pandemic isn’t over yet and this type of behaviour only puts obstacles in our way as we try to drive down the spread of the virus and return to normal.”