I'm exempt from wearing a face covering — Scope | Disability forum
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I'm exempt from wearing a face covering

Chloe_Scope
Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,555 Disability Gamechanger

Wearing a face covering in shops and supermarkets in England is to become mandatory from 24 July. Those who fail to comply with the new rules will face a fine of up to £100.

However, some people are exempt from wearing a mask. 

Who is exempt from wearing a face covering?

There are also a series of factors which the Government describes as a “reasonable excuse”, which also means you don’t have to wear a mask:

  • If you have a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means you cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering
  • If putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause you severe distress
  • If you are travelling with, or providing assistance to, someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
  • If you are travelling to avoid injury or escape the risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
  • If you need to remove it during your journey to avoid harm or injury or the risk of harm or injury to yourself or others
  • If you need to eat, drink, or take medication you can remove your face covering
  • If you are asked to remove your face covering by a police officer or other official, for example to check your railcard
  • According to the website Autism Eye, these rules around “reasonable excuses” also cover passengers with autism.

What is a face covering exemption card?

If you cannot wear a mask it's a good idea to get an exemption card. This will give you quick and easy way of showing others and stop you from being fined. 

Those who are exempted from wearing a face mask will be asked to get a "face-covering exemption card".

The card is available to download for free on the TfL website.

Those exempt will be required to carry the card on their person while using public transport.

TfL will also recognise similar cards that may have been issued by other transport operators.

The card can also be displayed on a smartphone.

If you do not have a printer or a smartphone, you can contact TfL and they will print and post a card to you.

Some TfL staff may also use this card.

You can also find personalised exemption cards from Keep Safe. They give a brief explanation about why you are unable to wear a face covering. The sunflower lanyard system can allow people with a hidden disability to easily get support, they also have face covering exemption cards.

If you have any other suggestions or questions then please let us know!

Scope

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Comments

  • hass
    hass Member Posts: 137 Courageous
    Thank you all.
    Much appreciated 
    Xx
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 15,915 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks for sharing with us I think there are a lot of members will find this useful
  • Topkitten
    Topkitten Member Posts: 1,285 Pioneering
    I only ever go out when I'm desperate and I'm not supposed to go out at all. Recently I've had to pick up a few items once or twice because home delivery is just as impractical until they are allowed to bring shopping indoors and I was desperate for an item not delivered or forgotten. So, if really desperate for a few things, I needed to risk going to get them and put up with the horrendous pain it caused. However, masks were not that important and I don't have any and seems a bit silly to go get something I might use once every month or two, especially as going out at all causes such massive suffering afterwards. Seems there was no thought in the requirement to cater for those, like me, who can't go and get such things whenever required. Classic healthy persons interpretation of disability requirements.

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • newborn
    newborn Member Posts: 741 Pioneering
    TK We need you.   How very dare you take risks with our TK!  You don't  need to buy anything fancy or expensive .  They say even a cotton  tea towel is actually  a pretty good filter, but there are some masks at 50p. But, really,  you wouldn't  want disposable to spoil the planet, when washable or a tea towel are cheap and just as good, or better.

    P.s. keep the hat, wear the mask, rock the look!
  • christian96
    christian96 Posts: 101 Connected
    Can I make two suggestions? What about a set of exemption cards for those who have a tracheotomy tube or any kind of feeding tube? Or for those who have speech issues of any kind. 
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,555 Disability Gamechanger
    A very good point @christian96
    Scope

  • janejr
    janejr Member Posts: 144 Pioneering
    Hi I have a friend with severe asthma how can he get an exemption certificate as he has not got a printer. He needs to go to shops and travels by taxi. Thank you
  • Topkitten
    Topkitten Member Posts: 1,285 Pioneering
    Ty @newborn, very sweet thing to say about a useless old cripple. Oh yes, I know that description isn't very PC but I have always tried to tell the truth and say things how they are.

    I'll figure a way round it.... I always do.

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • newborn
    newborn Member Posts: 741 Pioneering
    Hmm,  I should think so too.  Good to hear you back T.K.. Us 'useless old crips' need our poster boy.  Are you tech-savvy enough to swap your picture, temporarily,  to flaunt a dashing new  masked look?   Bet you can't hide the fact you are laughing!
  • Topkitten
    Topkitten Member Posts: 1,285 Pioneering
    @newborn. not about being tech savvy it's more about not having anything more recent to post, lol

    TK

    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • Topkitten
    Topkitten Member Posts: 1,285 Pioneering
    @newborn, I've updated my profile picture but couldn't find a mask. Will look again later. Guess it was about time, the other picture was a couple of years old.

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • mancmiss
    mancmiss Member Posts: 6 Listener
    Has anyone returned to normal activities yet ? I want to go camping with a group of friends and I’m still unsure at how much people with  cerebral palsy can interact if they are NOT on the shielding list ? I don’t want to miss out on my friends and social life 
  • Richard_Scope
    Richard_Scope Posts: 3,131 Scope online community team
    Hi @mancmiss
    I have been interacting as normal whilst maintaining social distancing. I returned the gym on Saturday. I have quad CP and use a a wheelchair. I was not shielding at any point.
    Scope
    Specialist Information Officer and Cerebral Palsy Programme Lead

    'Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.

    Want to tell us about your experience in the community? Talk to our chatbot and let us know. 
  • newborn
    newborn Member Posts: 741 Pioneering
    Oh, TK at the risk of quoting Tom Jones, " you can keep your hat on"!. That was cool, I just thought it would be a bit of fun if you rocked the new look!   .
    Mancmiss. To me, it seems everyone needs to make an individual decision, pretty much day to day, not least because covid risk varies in different areas, plus you know how sensible or otherwise your own friends are.   Probably the relevant increased risk for each condition will be mentioned by web search?
    If you were not at enough risk to be shielded, presumably your risk is roughly equal  to your friends?? The only thing is, for all of you, you need to consider what would happen if one in the group becomes unwell.

  • mancmiss
    mancmiss Member Posts: 6 Listener
    are you able to do most things independently? I’m not in a wheelchair but I use a walking frame outside so I’m a little worried about friends trying to help me and not maintaining a distance. It’s a tough call to make ?‍♀️
  • mancmiss
    mancmiss Member Posts: 6 Listener
    I’ve been off work since March due to being in the vulnerable list. Just a bit difficult as I’ve not got any friends with a disability and so it’s completely my call but it’s making the best decision 
  • Richard_Scope
    Richard_Scope Posts: 3,131 Scope online community team
    I can do almost everything independently. Some companies did ask employees that are on the 'vulnerable' list to stay off work, that was the companies interpretation of the government guidance at the time. It was not an indication of how vulnerable you are to coronavirus. The guidance changed a while ago and employees with CP are now returning to work, if they ever stopped. I think that if you observe social distancing, wash your hands and wear a mask you are at no greater risk than your friends.
    Scope
    Specialist Information Officer and Cerebral Palsy Programme Lead

    'Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.

    Want to tell us about your experience in the community? Talk to our chatbot and let us know. 
  • 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 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!


  • hass
    hass Member Posts: 137 Courageous
    Hi all 

    Hope your all well.
    Excellent  responce  well done. ?
  • Parrot123
    Parrot123 Member Posts: 137 Pioneering

    Wearing a face covering in shops and supermarkets in England is to become mandatory from 24 July. Those who fail to comply with the new rules will face a fine of up to £100.

    However, some people are exempt from wearing a mask. 

    Who is exempt from wearing a face covering?

    There are also a series of factors which the Government describes as a “reasonable excuse”, which also means you don’t have to wear a mask:

    • If you have a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means you cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering
    • If putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause you severe distress
    • If you are travelling with, or providing assistance to, someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
    • If you are travelling to avoid injury or escape the risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
    • If you need to remove it during your journey to avoid harm or injury or the risk of harm or injury to yourself or others
    • If you need to eat, drink, or take medication you can remove your face covering
    • If you are asked to remove your face covering by a police officer or other official, for example to check your railcard
    • According to the website Autism Eye, these rules around “reasonable excuses” also cover passengers with autism.

    What is a face covering exemption card?

    If you cannot wear a mask it's a good idea to get an exemption card. This will give you quick and easy way of showing others and stop you from being fined. 

    Those who are exempted from wearing a face mask will be asked to get a "face-covering exemption card".

    The card is available to download for free on the TfL website.

    Those exempt will be required to carry the card on their person while using public transport.

    TfL will also recognise similar cards that may have been issued by other transport operators.

    The card can also be displayed on a smartphone.

    If you do not have a printer or a smartphone, you can contact TfL and they will print and post a card to you.

    Some TfL staff may also use this card.

    You can also find personalised exemption cards from Keep Safe. They give a brief explanation about why you are unable to wear a face covering. The sunflower lanyard system can allow people with a hidden disability to easily get support, they also have face covering exemption cards.

    If you have any other suggestions or questions then please let us know!

    Why apart from people with asthma and COPD patients. I'm a cancer patient and asthma but I wear a mask . Please save lives wear a mask. Ex nurse

Brightness

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