The impact of keeping a religious beard in the COVID-19 pandemic: an online cross sectional survey study exploring experiences of male medical healthcare professionals
Hamed A., Latif A., Harris M., Patel S., Patel M., Mustafa SAR., Khan O., Shoaib A., Waqar S.
<jats:p>There has been a disproportionate effect on individuals from black Asian & Minority Ehnic (BAME) in the UK in Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, especially in the NHS staff. Many of them have been asked to remove their beard to be eligible to do the fit test which can have negative implications on their spiritual, psychological & emotional wellbeing. This paper surveyed the responses of 469 healthcare professionals (HCPs) with beards regarding the challenges they face in regard to personal protective equipment (PPE), mask fit testing and attitude of employers & colleagues. Professional discrimination through fit testing rejection, unavailability or inadequate PPE and the pressure to shave their beard are unpleasant outcomes of this pandemic for some of the NHS staff. NHS trusts & hospitals need to adjust their practices to include staff with beard in their COVID-19 arrangements</jats:p>