I'm exempt from wearing a mask. I was stopped by police in the supermarket, and told I may be fined. — Scope | Disability forum
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I'm exempt from wearing a mask. I was stopped by police in the supermarket, and told I may be fined.

Msayer Community member Posts: 9 Listener

Hi everyone, I just want to share my experience, yesterday late evening I went to my local supermarket. I don't wear a mask as I have Asthma, Sleep Apnoea, Fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, and hearing impairments in both ears . I have tried previously to wear a mask and visor, but unfortunately theses had an adverse effect on my Asthma and I ended up having a huge asthma attack and ended up on steroid tablets. So, I went to my local supermarket there were not many people in due to the time of night, I was stopped by two Police men who asked why I didn’t have a mask on. I explained why and also showed them my except card. The first 2 Police in encountered said okay. However, I went down the next isle and there were two more Police men. One of which asked me why I had no mask on, I explained that I had just spoken to his colleagues however, I then had to go through my disabilities again. The Police officer then read me my rights whilst I was stood in the isle and other shoppers were going by. I was so upset, about this as it was embarrassing /humiliating as shoppers where watching as though I was a criminal. The whole process has left me a bit shaken. The Police officer then informed me that my information will be given to someone else who will make a decision as to whether I will be issued a fine etc. What is the point of having an except card if this is being allowed to happen. sorry, but this has totally shook me up. Maria 



  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Campaigns Posts: 12,461 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm very sorry to hear that you had that experience @Msayer, and it's completely understandable that it would've shaken you up. 

    You're right in thinking that:
    The police can take measures if members of the public do not comply with this law without a valid exemption.
    And, in fact:
    If you have an age, health or disability reason for not wearing a face covering:
    • you do not routinely need to show any written evidence of this
    • you do not need show an exemption card
    This means that you do not need to seek advice or request a letter from a medical professional about your reason for not wearing a face covering.

    However, some people may feel more comfortable showing something that says they do not have to wear a face covering. This could be in the form of an exemption card, badge or even a home-made sign.

    Carrying an exemption card or badge is a personal choice and is not required by law.

    (The above information was taken from the gov.uk page on 'Face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own')

    I'm very much hoping that you won't be fined. Did they give an indication of how long you might have to wait to hear? Did you take their names?

    I hope that this won't stop you from going out again. How are you feeling about it now?

    National Campaigns Officer, she/her

    Take part in The Play Investigation 
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 10,365 Disability Gamechanger
    @Msayer I'm sorry you were put through that, but 4 policeman in one supermarket? Anyway my response would be to complain in writing not by phone to the chief constable enclosing copies of your exemption, seeking confirmation that you will not be fined and an appology in writing.
    I would also be tempted to speak to the local newspaper.
    Seasons greetings to one and all 🎄🎅🏻🌲
  • cupcake88
    cupcake88 Posts: 1,253 Pioneering
    @Msayer my god this is horrible I’m so sorry you was put threw this this is awful . The government need to really sort this out and have a nation wide mask exception proof like a blue badge for example . 

    It was back in the summer before police and security guards could enforce it . I went to Mac Donald’s I was completely humiliated in there even tho I had my lanyard , my blue badge and a pip letter on me . I was told that mental illness isn’t a good enough reason . I was left  shaken by It all I did make a complaint to the police bout it and they told me that there not allowed to challenge what’s wrong with you they have to take your word for it .

    but now supper markers have security and police in them which is a waste of police time having like 4 plus officers standing at super market doors . From what I have told it’s down to whether the police believe you or not to whether you get fined . I appreciate there’s a lot of people who are just anti government and don’t want to wear a mask but there are a lot of genuine people who can’t wear one and it’s horrible what’s happening to people who can’t wear one . 
  • Msayer
    Msayer Community member Posts: 9 Listener
    Thank you everyone, the Police didn't give me any indication as to when i would hear whether i am going to be fined, to be honest i was too humiliated and shook up to ask. The Police officer in question also suggested that in future i shop on line. which i feel in todays climate is unhelpful as a person who already feels isolated because we have lost  a lot of our freedom, going shopping gives me a little of normality and i feel supports my mental health.
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 15,321 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Msayer - just to add how saddened I am about your experience, which just should not have happened. I rang our local police station to ask if I would be able to travel to a bungalow we wanted to put up for sale, & he assured me that was fine. He said he couldn't guarantee that we wouldn't be stopped by the police, but said if that happened the police always tended to believe people....what an absolute shame that that didn't happen in your case. I hope you're feeling a little better now, & that nothing further in the way of getting a fine happens.
    Perhaps you could get your MP involved with this.
  • Msayer
    Msayer Community member Posts: 9 Listener
    Thank you everyone, the support on here is amazing, i will take it further if and when they contact me in terms the fine.
  • newborn
    newborn Community member Posts: 827 Pioneering
    Other countries don't allow people to go out without masks.  Those whose disabilities/medical conditions/mental illnesses prevent them wearing face coverings join the masses whose entire lives are limited to four walls due to their own versions of those three personal situations.    Millions can't go out, ever.  They have to have food and other things brought to their door, or even go through the humiliating and costly processes for living in bed.

    Many countries do not allow people to smoke cigarettes outside their homes, because it is unfair to contaminate others by exposing them to smoke.  By logic, exposing others to potentially death-carrying unmasked breath is worse than smoke.

    There are numerous variants of virus, each more easily transmitted than the last.  All of these variants will be delighted  to encounter and to infect anyone who is not wearing a mask.  They will not politely stand aside, because the person has a bit of paper declaring they are 'exempt from masks'   Viruses don't care.  They will eagerly and easily get into those unmasked nostrils.     After infecting the owner, they may kill, again, not politely declining to spare them the hideous death by not being able to breathe, and the crushing and the mask wearing involved in the attempt to treat.

    But  in the majority of cases viruses infect without even giving symptoms.   Viruses then have the delightful opportunity to use any unmasked person as their carrier.   Unmasked faces go around, freely breathing viruses  out into the air as micro particles, which can remain suspended for days, landing at random over others, entering their eyes, landing anywhere on them.   It could be argued that other countries are right, in not allowing anyone to be 'exempt from face covering'  because they are certainly not 'exempt from virus carrying.'
  • Msayer
    Msayer Community member Posts: 9 Listener
    I have had Covid, recently was extremely poorly for over a month, i caught it from my husband who works in a warehouse and a lot of people there had caught th virus. 
  • Lisatho11987777
    Lisatho11987777 Scope Member Posts: 5,911 Disability Gamechanger
    I dont have to wear a mask  but I do now  
  • newborn
    newborn Community member Posts: 827 Pioneering
    P.S. The entirely predictable result of U.K. declaring some people are 'exempt from catching and transmitting virus', (or, as it is mis-named, 'exempt from mask-wearing'), is that an army of aggressive, even violent people in their couples, gangs, groups or entire crowds, all scream the word 'exempt' as they crowd every public space and shop, bus and train,  challenging anyone to dare ask about their absence of  face covering.  People have been stabbed, (one bus passenger  locally was recently battered unconscious, not for saying a word, but daring to 'look at'  one of these unmasked people).   That is why police, who have other things to do, are now having to work extra shifts to patrol supermarkets.   The tiny minority who truly do have a justification for not wanting to cover their faces could consider being grateful, not critical, of the efforts everyone else has been forced to put in, to save them doing online ordering. 
    P.P.S. Other countries do not even permit bare nostrils anywhere outside.  U.K has just the same risk, or, in fact, higher, because our death rate is highest.   I have to admit being puzzled why people think they are virus-exempt.  Those people I know with breathing problems, mental health problems and numerous other conditions do not claim to be exempt from face covering, because they know they are better off either forcing themselves to use masks, or else  staying indoors, rather than catching Covid19 and all the variants.
  • Lisatho11987777
    Lisatho11987777 Scope Member Posts: 5,911 Disability Gamechanger
    I think my personal opinion wether you have to wear  a mask or not is about how safe do you feel when your out  and make the choice for yourself  
  • deb74
    deb74 Community member Posts: 812 Pioneering
    Hi @Msayer.  You should not be treated like a criminal for not wearing a mask if you have an exemption card. I have heart disease and ME which affect me breathing, I have got an exemption card and no-one has ever questioned why I am not wearing a mask when they see the exemption card.
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 10,365 Disability Gamechanger
    @newborn I think in fairness we are talking about the rules as they apply in the UK, personally I'm not in the least bit concerned about what other "sovereign" countries are doing, that's their business.
    Seasons greetings to one and all 🎄🎅🏻🌲
  • 1119082
    1119082 Posts: 258 Courageous
    You should apply to the rules to the government's gudlines 


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