Coronavirus (CoVID-19)

Current delivery status

For current delivery status see the Delivery information page - Usual next day delivery service cannot currently be guaranteed

Update COVID-19 – 05/06/20

We are still able to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) products at a temporary VAT0 rate until the 31st of July 2020 it is only for specific personal protective equipment brackets PPE recommended by public health for use in connection with protection from infection from COVID-19. This new zero rate will relieve the burden of standard rate VAT, currently 20% on the price of PPE sold in the UK. We have seen significant price increases occurring on all PPE and this was a welcome measure by the government.

 Currently all orders placed on the website will have the VAT refunded after the transaction. The items must be delivered by the 31st of July to be supplied free of VAT.

 We believe that this should be a permanent measure and are currently campaigning to remove VAT on PPE and other products used in all future charitable funded medical veterinary research testing and diagnosis. This will provide much-needed funds to organisations promoting the health and welfare of us all.

New information has been published by public health England on COVID-19 personal protective equipment dated the 21st of May 2020

We also note that there is government guidance on the use of protective facemasks and their use with regards to public transport. We have introduced our own range of reusable face coverings to accommodate for this new guidance. These coverings can be washed and re-used many times and offer considerable good value for money, whilst avoiding the use of PPE needed for frontline workers. 

See our re-usable face masks here……

If however you are an employer, you have a legal responsibility under ‘The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974' as well as 'The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1996'. These require you to provide and maintain a safe working environment, so far as is reasonably practicable.

To be able to control substances hazardous to health (COSHH) in your workplace and to prevent and adequately control your employees’ exposure to those substances, provision of (PPE) may then be necessary as part of your control regime.

PPE is critical to the user, all employers have a duty to ensure that their employees are instructed on how and when to use their PPE. For respiratory Protective equipment devices like masks (RPE) you must decide what mask and filter combination you require;

RPE by law must be adequate & suitable. For RPE to be adequate it must be capable of protecting the wearer from the hazard or hazards that are present.

To be suitable, RPE must also be adequate as well as be suitable for the task that is undertaken, the environment it is used in and for the person wearing it i.e. it must fit (the only way to be sure of this is by carrying out a face fit test) and must be comfortable for the wearer.

The person selecting the RPE must also be trained and competent. The HSE document HSG 53  “Respiratory Protective Equipment at Work” details the full requirements of training, face fit and ongoing maintenance. Any incidents of faulty PPE should be reported as an incident to the HSE and your supplier as part of your health and safety process.

Remember to always source your PPE from a reputable accredited supplier who will have checked compliance documentation and declarations of conformity. The supplier must have quality management systems in place to meet the legal requirements of the UK. Be able to recall & withdraw non-compliant stock and meet the PPE regulations EN/149:2001 and provide on-going market surveillance and testing of PPE.

 Camlab is an accredited supplier of PPE and a member of the British Safety Industry federation (BSIF) 

British Standards for Respiratory Protective Devices

  1. BS ISO 16975-3:2017 Respiratory protective devices – Selection, use and maintenance. Part 3: Fit-testing procedures British Standards Institution
  2. BS EN 136:1998 Respiratory protective devices: Full face facepiece – Requirements, testing, markings British Standards Institution
  3. BS EN 140:1998 Respiratory protective devices: Half facepieces and quarter facepieces – Requirements, testing, markings. British Standards Institution
  4. BS EN 149:2001 + A1:2009 Respiratory protective devices – Filtering half masks to protect against particles – Requirements, testing, marking. British Standards Institution


UPDATE 05.05.2020 - VAT on PPE

As of 1st May 2020, PPE purchased by care homes, businesses, charities and individuals to protect against Covid-19 will be free from VAT for a three-month period.

The products which are covered by the zero rating are those which are recommended for use by Public Health England, per its guidance ‘Guidance, COVID-19 personal protective equipment (‘PPE)’, dated 24 April 2020, and includes:

• disposable gloves
• disposable plastic aprons
• disposable fluid-resistant coveralls or gowns
• surgical masks – including fluid-resistant type IIR surgical masks
• filtering face piece respirators
• eye and face protection – including single or reusable full face visors or goggles

Also from today the supply of electronic publications (‘e-publications’) will now be in line with the physical paper publications and be zero rated for VAT purposes, providing they are not predominantly devoted to advertising or audio and visual content. This is not temporary.

• books
• booklets
• brochures
• pamphlets
• leaflets
• newspapers
• journals and periodicals (which include magazines)
• children’s picture and painting books

Camlab will issue refunds of VAT on appropriate PPE purchased from the Camlab website from 1st May 2020 for a three month period or advised otherwise by government.

 UPDATE 29.04.2020 - DELIVERY STATUS - Limited*

We have resumed some local van deliveries for companies working on COVID-19 treatments and vaccines. We are also using our van to deliver larger items that cannot be couriered as well as attemping redelivery of orders that were rejected by UPS. If you have received a delivery advice but no items and are waiting for delivery in the Cambridge area please conbtact our sales office on 01954 233110

Note: Most national deliveries are not affected and delivery times are normal although the couriers are applying social distancing rules which may affect where goods can be delivered to on site. Please discuss with us if you think there may be any issues at your site.

UPDATE 06.04.2020 - Camlab are taking steps to help our customers

We have now taken our next steps to prepare for the coming weeks and possibly months

Camlab is re-organising to meet the challenge of supply of products to meet the immediate challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are re-deploying staff, to and have set up a new sourcing team to concentrate on key customer issues to help them to find essential or critical goods like PPE to keep them working and help serve our customers better.

We are now adjusting our business to help address our customers concerns with regards to obtaining PPE and maintaining a consistent supply of Life science consumables and equipment.

Our Service department will continue to provide essential calibration and repairs for key customers who remain active. However we are operating with fewer staff at this time although we are postponing service visits and extending contracts with our customers to reflect the lock down period

Our Priority list for PPE and medical equipment.

1. NHS, first responders and primary care-providers

2. Utilities, key customers, critical work for research COVID-19 or healthcare/humanitarian work

3. Essential business food, pharmaceutical and healthcare, research

4. Other businesses / trade accounts / members of the public

We are mindful that prices are increasing on many products due to lack of supply either due to huge demand or +10% unfavourable dollar and Euro exchange rate to sterling. We are also seeing government bans on exporting some PPE (Thailand) or additional surcharges applied to products like Nitrile gloves

Air freighting consumables is also extremely expensive often adding 50-100% to the already inflated cost of the products. We are doing our best to overcome price increases and shortages by sourcing products from alternative suppliers of PPE. Unfortunately we have to pass on these increases and surcharges to customers but please be assured that we are not overly inflating our prices or profits to exploit this situation.

If you wish to discuss supply issues please submit your requirements and details here

If you have any comments or wish to speak to a member of our management team please email us at

UPDATE 01.04.2020 All functions are still running smoothly and we are able to answer all calls and enquiries as normal with the bulk of our staff working from home. Our warehouse team are doing a great job but we have decided to cease our local van deliveries for now to help ease the pressure. If your deliveries are normally made by van to you in the local area we will continue to get product to you by using UPS and Postal servces. Typically this will be next day but if you have any urgent requirements please call us. We ask you to bear with us at this difficult time and we wish all our customers and suppliers the best.

UPDATE 30.03.2020 Please note that we are still making deliveries but our delivery service is being affected. Our local deliveries will be reduced to twice a week until further notice. If your requirement is urgent please contact customer services on 01954 233110 and we can arrange delivery by UPS. There is some disruption with UPS and postal deliveries and we are endeavouring to manage these the best we can. If you are intending to close your site to deliveries please let us know so we don't try to deliver.

UPDATE 24.03.2020 As a supplier to the NHS, research instititions working on Corona virus vaccines and industial customers now working on manufacture of ventilators we will be endevouring to maintain supplies to these important institutions as long as possible. We are also prioritising supplies to supply chain based manufacturers such as food companies and important services such as water and power companies so that they can continue important testing functions.

Following the governments advice last evening we are further bolstering our efforts to enforce distancing for our warehouse team as much as is practicable. 

Our field service engineers may be able to provide emergency cover if required provided they can work at distance. Please contact us for details.

All other activities such as sales consultation,  technical support and orders can be provided online and our phones are fully manned by staff working at home.

We are working hard to secure stocks of critical personal protection and research products.

UPDATE 18.03.2020 Camlab is committed to providing the best possible customer service even in challenging times such as these. We are also highly committed to the well being of our staff and their families and are working hard to maintain business as usual. We wish all our customers and suppliers good health and productive business. 

We have been following the latest advice from the UK government over the last few days and have put multiple steps in place to ensure the continued health of our employees whilst still providing the best possible service to our customers.

Our entire office and field workforce is now working from home until further notice.  This will protect our warehouse team as much as possible in the circumstances and we have a back-up warehouse team ready if required. We are taking all calls, technical enquiries, chats and emails as per normal. There may be a delay of up to 7 days on postal orders and invoices so we would ask our customers and suppliers to switch to electronic communication wherever possible. Orders can be sent to; invoices and remittances can be sent to

Our sales specialists are now also offering online sales consultations and demonstrations if required. If you would like to book a call you can get in touch with your local specialist by clicking here.

Our engineers are still able to make service calls at this stage subject to customer site policy and basic checks.

Our websites are still open for business and show live current stocks and lead-times. Please be aware that some stated lead-times on 'panic buy' items such as masks, gels and coveralls may be understated as suppliers are struggling to supply these goods in the normal time frames. We may also have to restrict supply of these items to health bodies and previous customers.

Our supply chain team are working hard with suppliers to secure stocks and to ensure continued supplies. We would ask you to bear with us through this difficult period.


21.02.2020 The world health organisation is closely monitoring an outbreak of a new respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, first identified in Wuhan China. The virus (COVID-19) has resulted in tens of thousands of confirmed cases in mainland China and hundreds of additional cases around the world. Because it is a new illness, exactly how it spreads from person to person is unknown, but similar viruses are spread by cough droplets or sneeze droplets. We are monitoring the situation on the latest information.


  • We are evaluating the potential impact of the novel coronavirus on our business operations.
  • We are assessing all options and plans to help customers, partners and supply chains remain operational.


While the situation continues to evolve our main priority is insuring the health and safety of our employees, their families, local communities and others. We will continue to monitor the situation as it develops and take action as needed. Critical supply chain products like personal protective equipment (PPE)  e.g. masks currently have restricted availability and supply from the manufacturers. We are working with our supply partners to ensure continuity of service.


  • We are watching supply chain lead times closely and assessing alternative options and mitigation plans to best manage any business impact.
  • We have amended and updated our business risk register and communicated any mitigation measures needed to others.


Please note that in many cases our suppliers of personal protective equipment have now limited our supplies in order to preserve their stocks for emergency medical use.  It is because of these restrictions that we may not be able to accept your order or may have to cancel an order if these items are required by the medical authorities. We will try to find you an alternative product if possible but we would encourage you to read the government information below which gives information on the suitability of protective equipment.


UK Government latest information on Coronavirus


European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control


 If you have any questions or concerns please call our customer service team on +44 (0)1954 233 110 or email us on

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