Background Coronavirus disease 2019(Covid-19) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) has been reported to effect communication in healthcare settings. We sought to identify those challenges experimentally. Method Bamford-Kowal-Bench speech discrimination in noise performance of healthcare workers was tested under simulated background noise conditions from a variety of hospital environments. Candidates were assessed for speech intelligibility with and without PPE both at normal speech and raised voice. Results There was a significant difference in speech discrimination scores between normal and PPE wearing subjects in theatre simulated background noise levels (70dB). Conclusion PPE wearing can impact communication and efforts should be made to remind staff about this burden and seek alternative communication paradigms, particularly in theatre environments.