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Covid-19: Masks - Question for Short Debate

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:13 pm on 11th June 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Northover Baroness Northover Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) 4:13 pm, 11th June 2020

My Lords, many people now wearing masks may feel that they are protecting themselves. The WHO makes it clear that any role non-medical masks have is to protect others. It advises Governments to adopt a comprehensive strategy to suppress transmission. Only where physical distancing is difficult should Governments encourage the public to use non-medical fabric masks.

In the UK, people have been asked not to buy medical masks so that they do not deprive the NHS and care sector. Will the Government therefore stop companies from advertising these masks, for example in newspapers? The care sector still reports not being able to get adequate PPE, especially via Clipper. When will there be sufficient? Are the Government building reserves of PPE for a second wave of the infection? These issues must be addressed if the risk of coronavirus is genuinely to be reduced.