The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) delivery of face coverings to secondary settings to support contingency stock


The expectation is that most staff, pupils, and students will already have access to face coverings from their wider use in society. However, it is recommended that all settings have a small contingency stock of face coverings available if an individual is struggling to access a face covering, or has damaged/forgotten their own.

The DHSC has a strong stock of PPE including the Type IIR face masks. To support the return to full attendance and ensure maximum compliance with the system of controls, DHSC are distributing Type IIR masks to secondary settings. This supply is for use only as the settings’ contingency stock of face coverings.


Secondary settings should expect to receive an initial delivery by the end of the week commencing 8th March. In the coming weeks, these settings may receive further stock depending on the size of the establishment and requirement for contingency face covering stock. It is  estimated that this stock should be sufficient to cover the settings’ contingency face covering stock until at least the Easter holidays. These face coverings are being provided by DHSC at no cost. Therefore, DHSC cannot accept returns of these items.


For any queries or complaints on delivery or missing items, please contact the DHSC PPE helpline (provided by UNIPART) on 0800 8766802, the setting should identify itself as an education setting. Alternatively,  email and the query will be handled by the helpline team.


For any questions on DfE face covering policy, please refer to the DfE guidance or call the DfE coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline on 0800 046 8687.

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