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Protective Clothing: Standards

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 101034, tabled on 8 October 2020

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.

Answered on

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.

Answered by

Department of Health and Social Care
Named day
Named day questions only occur in the House of Commons. The MP tabling the question specifies the date on which they should receive an answer. MPs may not table more than five named day questions on a single day.