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Coronavirus: trading standards warning on PPE

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Trading Standards Service are asking local residents to report any online products claiming to protect people against coronavirus that haven’t been provided by a reputable supplier or nationally approved.
Peterborough Town Hall
Peterborough City Council town hall

Home-made sanitisers, genuine looking face masks claiming protection and coronavirus swabbing kits are among products that have been promoted, which can often be dangerous and unsafe.

This is a time when unscrupulous criminals will attempt to make illegal profit and prey on the fears of the most vulnerable in our society.

The latest Public Health England blog details personal protective equipment (PPE) and what is being recommended for the necessary excursions we are having to make. For the vast majority you will find in fact the recommendation is to use no PPE but instead to adopt thorough hand washing practices and social distancing.

Peter Gell, assistant director of regulatory services at Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council, said: ‘We recognise that many schools, communities and reputable businesses are producing equipment to help key workers and I’d like to make it clear that these are not the individuals Trading Standards are looking to tackle.

"We are aware of some masks and hand sanitisers being sold offering ‘COVID-19 protection’ when in fact they do not; and coronavirus home testing kits being sold again claiming to be effective when there are no official products on the consumer market capable of doing this. These are false claims, and pose a risk to the public. I urge the public to be on their guard and report any concerns to Trading Standards.”

Dr Linda Sheridan, consultant in public health medicine at Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council, said: “There is a real concern that if members of the public use any of these products, that it could lull them into a false sense of security and lead them to drop their other, more effective precautions of social distancing and frequent hand washing.”

Members of the public can contact the Trading Service via the Citizens Advice helpline on 0808 223 1133

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