Mask Exempt ! Beware the muzzle police ! — Scope | Disability forum

Mask Exempt ! Beware the muzzle police !

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 incorrect 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 exempt, you are exempt, and of... tell the police or the shop, or the person on the street, exactly where to get off, politely of course!
Bon Courage!


  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 29,415 Disability Gamechanger

    I honestly don't see what the problem is here. I totally understand that it couldn't have been nice to be approached in this way but a simple explaination of why you are exempt surely wouldn't have hurt and then it would have been job done. The police that spoke to you were only doing their job.

    My daughter is also exempt and i got her a badge from the internet saying she's exempt. Before it arrived i gave her a couple options, she could either not wear it and risk being approached and having to ask certain questions, which would have terrified her or wear it and there would have been less risk of being approached. She chose to wear it and i also carry her ASD assessment report diagnosis with me as well, just to be extra safe.

    We've been out several times since the face coverings rule came out and we've never been approached by anyone. Yes, some shop assistants look at her but then they see the bag and they say nothing.

    She's not a child, she's 19 and she doesn't like wearing it but it's definitely a better option than being approached or even having to wear a face covering to start with.
  • oldblokeinavan
    oldblokeinavan Member Posts: 9 Listener
    I understand what you are saying but my point is two-fold, wearing a mask is not even law, and in the case of the police (in this instance) they didn't know their a** from their elbow!  The main point is not wearing a mask is no one's business and you or your daughter dont have to prove anything.

    We all know that day to day, having disability makes challenges without them being added to! 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 29,415 Disability Gamechanger
    I understand that also being disabled myself. However, if she was approached she would been mortified and going out for her since lockdown is a challenge in itself, the last thing i want to happen is her becoming even worse than she already is.

    Wearing a face covering is law, for those that are not exempt. This means that you can be approached if you don't wear one, in England of course.

  • oldblokeinavan
    oldblokeinavan Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Absolutely, no one wants to make anyone's trip out worse, you have to do what is best for your situation, and naturally your daughters, I am just wary of people being 'hearded' into doing things they aren't required to do.  For people who are not exempt i must politely disagree, they are not law, but guidance.  
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,555 Disability Gamechanger
    We have a thread that has information about face coverings, exemption rules and exemption cards which you might find helpful. :)