Can I be made to wear a mask — Scope | Disability forum
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Can I be made to wear a mask

deb74 Member Posts: 777 Pioneering
I volunteer in a local shop and have been off work since the lockdown. The shop manager emailed me a couple of days ago about the shop opening up again and she mentioned masks. I have heart valve disease and have read that wearing masks can affect your breathing. Can the manager make me to wear? 


  • Silver925
    Silver925 Member Posts: 87 Courageous
    Hi if you have breathing difficulties, disabled or children under I think it's 5 are exempt on public transport. I carnt see why it would be any different if it would be in a shop. Try taking to your employer about your concerns.
  • deb74
    deb74 Member Posts: 777 Pioneering
    Thanks @Silver925. I will talk to her.
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 15,297 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @deb74 As advised above those with breathing difficulties are exempt on public transport. If you don't have any luck with your employer then I suggest you speak to your GP about your concerns for their advice and they could write a note to your employer
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,557 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @deb74, I hope talking with your employer will help. Please do let us know if there is anything we can do to help. :)

  • deb74
    deb74 Member Posts: 777 Pioneering
  • deb74
    deb74 Member Posts: 777 Pioneering
  • oldblokeinavan
    oldblokeinavan Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Re: Masks, 
    Let's have some facts...... The government gave guidance, not law, simple.

    I took a train journey last week for the first time since lockdown, I have both visible and non-visible disabilities..... I am 'exempt' according to the government guidance.......I too have a prosthetic aortic heart valve, with heart failure, along with other stuff going on  !!

    I was challenged by a policeman on the train asking where my mask was....
    I explained i am exempt, he asked why?
    I replied, this is private matter (because of the Equalities Act 2010)
    He asked for documentation to prove exemption, I explained, not required, (due to the Act).

    If I had been a more 'meek person, I would have been seriously intimidated by the police's conduct, - he backed off once I explained.  He did ask why I was being awkward, I explained that I wasn't, I just knew the applicable law, not guidance.  He went away with his tail between his legs !!!

    The upshot is this...... You do not have to prove or explain ANYTHING TO ANYONE, if you are dxempt, you are exempt, tell the police or the shop, or the person on the street, exactly where to get off, politely of course!
    Bon Courage!
  • deb74
    deb74 Member Posts: 777 Pioneering
    I explained to my boss about not being able to wear a mask and she told me it was up to me whether I wore a mask or not. I live in Wales and they are not mandatory here but there are in England. I went to England last week and did wear a mask in the shop I went into but I found it hard work!
  • oldblokeinavan
    oldblokeinavan Member Posts: 9 Listener
    @deb74 you don't have to wear a mask anywhere in the UK, you are exempt, please see my post above.  Dave


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