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.
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.