Please find below a message from the Kent Autism Collaboration, of which I am an active member:
From this Friday 24 July, it will become mandatory to wear a face covering in shops in England.
Here is the official guidance from Government: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own
There are certain exemptions, including:
- not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
- if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
- if you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
As a collaborative, we were interested to understand how autistic people, people with learning disabilities, their parents, advocates and carers felt about this. A big thank you to all those who responded or cascaded the request through their networks. A brief summary of the feedback received is attached.
We know from this feedback that some people feel able to wear a face covering, and have said that they will do so. For those who feel unable to wear a face covering, PhotoSymbols have produced cards that can be downloaded to phones to be shown or printed out for free, which are available here: https://www.keepsafe.org.uk/card
There are also some really helpful infographics on the use of masks on the World Health Organisation website.