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Coronavirus: Protective Clothing and Screening

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL1628, tabled on 11 July 2022

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take in response to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases; and what plans they have (1) to re-introduce free testing, and (2) to update their advice on the wearing of face masks.

Answered on

20 July 2022

The COVID-19 vaccination and booster programme and the availability of antiviral treatments has ensured a reduced risk of severe illness or hospitalisation. We have transitioned the response towards guidance and encouraging responsible behaviours, while targeting protection towards those individuals most at risk from the virus. Testing remains available for eligible groups, including for certain high-risk individuals and settings.

It is currently recommended that face coverings should be worn when COVID-19 rates are high, in crowded and enclosed spaces and when coming into close contact with individuals at high risk. While there are currently no plans to update the guidance on wearing face coverings, the Government continues to assess the situation and will take further action if required to ensure the response remains effective and proportionate.