I'm exempt from wearing a face covering
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.
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!