Free Covid-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) has been extended by the government until March, 2022 for NHS care providers.

Initially due to end in June, the extension was made as clinical experts expected that usage would remain high throughout the next financial year.

It ensured that optometrists, GPs, dentists and pharmacists were able to access high-quality PPE that had been rigorously tested, the government said.

Providers should continue to access Covid-19 PPE via their current distribution channels, it added.