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Hearing Impairment: Coronavirus

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 47385, tabled on 15 May 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to promote (a) the availability of transparent face masks and (b) public understanding of the challenges facing deaf people who rely on lip-reading during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered on

29 June 2020

The United Kingdom Government’s national personal protective equipment (PPE) procurement team has been working extremely hard to source clear facemasks which comply with UK safety standards. While the product is not CE marked, UK Government regulators have agreed that a particular mask can enter the National Health Service supply chain for use during COVID-19 and further details will be announced as soon as possible about availability to health and care settings.

Where regulators find that PPE (as regulated by the Health and Safety Executive) or medical devices (as regulated by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) can ensure an adequate level of health and safety in accordance with the essential requirements laid down in Regulation (EU) 2016/425 or the requirements of Directive 93/42/EEC, they may authorise the making available of these products for supply to frontline healthcare.

Answered by

Department of Health and Social Care