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Coronavirus: Protective Clothing

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 101974, tabled on 12 October 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of providing surgical or medical-grade face masks for people most vulnerable to covid-19.

This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.

Answered on

3 November 2020

Face coverings are not classified as personal protective equipment which is used in a limited number of settings to protect wearers against hazards and risks, such as surgical masks or respirators used in medical and industrial settings. We urge the public not to purchase medical or surgical masks as these must be reserved for health and social care workers who face the greatest risk.

In the United Kingdom, face coverings are being sold by a large number of retailers online and in store but it is not necessary to purchase one – everyone can make their own face covering at home, using readily available textiles that can be washed, and reused after every use.

We have published guidance online which provides a step-by-step breakdown of how to make these face coverings at home and what materials can be used.

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.