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Coronavirus: Protective Clothing

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL3725, tabled on 29 April 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to work with suppliers to increase the production of face masks that could be worn by the public across the UK to slow the spread of COVID-19 after lockdown restrictions are lifted.

Answered on

22 July 2020

The public is being strongly urged not to purchase personal protective equipment such as surgical masks or respirators, which are prioritised for healthcare workers working in more high-risk environments where the risk is greatest.

The Government has always been clear that its highest priority in managing this national crisis is protecting the public and the National Health Service. On 15 June, the Government published online guidance on passengers wearing mandatory face coverings when travelling on public transport in England. The Government also announced that from Friday 24 July, members of the public must wear a face covering when visiting a shop or supermarket.

People are encouraged to make their own face coverings for this purpose - a face covering can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head and should cover the mouth and nose while allowing the wearer to breathe comfortably. Guidance on how make these face coverings has been published online and they are also available for purchase.