As part of the fight against infections such as MRSA, home nurses in the north have been banned from entering commercial shops while on duty.
According to U TV, Sunderland Teaching Primary Care Trust has changed its uniform policy for its 300 community nurses to combat the current infection control issues.
A trust spokesperson told the news outlet: "The policy is a precautionary measure and forms part of a broad approach to reduce the risk of cross infection in primary care.
"This also includes advice on matters such as hand washing and the use of gloves and aprons where appropriate.
"We have consulted widely on this issue and it is clear that members of the public have some anxiety over nursing staff remaining in their uniform when not in work and visiting public places."
The change in policy is in line with guidance issued by the Royal College of Nursing.