Covid waves are likely to have a ‘deleterious’ impact on hospital waiting times, warns senior medic.

Hospitals are bringing back requirements for masks on wards just weeks after rules were relaxed as Covid rates spike, The Independent can reveal.

Experts have warned of a surge in cases, believed to be the fifth wave, with one in 40 people in the UK testing positive for the virus.

Meanwhile, latest NHS data shows more than 8,000 Covid-positive patients on wards following a warning of a “deleterious” impact on hospital waiting times.

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