To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that face coverings sold privately for use by the general public are of a high standard and effective.
This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.
10 November 2020
In the United Kingdom, face coverings are being sold by a large number of retailers online and in store. Details of a product’s conformance to any standards can be found under the product details section online, or on the packaging or label of the covering itself.
The Office for Product Safety and Standards has produced guidance for manufacturers and sellers of face coverings, which is available online.
In June 2020, the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) approved a Workshop Agreement with performance requirements, methods of testing and uses of community face coverings.
The British Retail Consortium has released a specification for Textile Barrier Face Coverings designed for both disposable and reusable coverings. The specification sets out the design, performance and chemical requirements of coverings, as well as labelling instructions.
The British Standards Institution will not be creating a separate standard and intend to adopt the CEN Workshop Agreement. Copies of both the CEN and AFNOR documents are freely available for the public to download.