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I'm exempt from wearing a face covering

Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 10,679 Scope community team
edited August 10 in Disabled people

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!

Community Partner
Scope

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Replies

  • hasshass Member Posts: 75 Connected
    Thank you all.
    Much appreciated 
    Xx
  • janer1967janer1967 Community champion Posts: 5,144 Disability Gamechanger
    Thanks for sharing with us I think there are a lot of members will find this useful
  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,263 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.
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 567 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!
  • christian96christian96 Member Posts: 101 Courageous
    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_ScopeChloe_Scope Administrator Posts: 10,679 Scope community team
    A very good point @christian96
    Community Partner
    Scope

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    Complete our feedback form to help us to improve your community.
  • janejrjanejr Member Posts: 141 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
  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,263 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.
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 567 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!
  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,263 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.
  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,263 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.
  • mancmissmancmiss 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_ScopeRichard_Scope Administrator Posts: 2,411 Scope 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 - Cerebral Palsy

    Want to tell us about your experience on the community? Talk to our chatbot and let us know. 
  • newbornnewborn Member Posts: 567 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.

  • mancmissmancmiss 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 🤷‍♀️
  • mancmissmancmiss 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_ScopeRichard_Scope Administrator Posts: 2,411 Scope 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 - Cerebral Palsy

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


  • hasshass Member Posts: 75 Connected
    Hi all 

    Hope your all well.
    Excellent  responce  well done. 😁
  • KarmaMarKarmaMar Member - under moderation Posts: 63 Courageous

    well done @oldblokeinavan

    , I would have lost it completely in that situation. it is a good job they only harass me from marked vehicles or the police helicopter!

    I am exempt under mental effects, but more physical as I used to do allot of spraying at work of paints and in my hobby therefore already had masks even though I can not do the hobby or work anymore with breathing issues.

    first wore one of the painting masks out and really struggled to breath/couldn't see out of glasses.

    next bought a poundland mask, so tight it was unreal, again struggling to breath.

    then a few weeks ago ordered some of those face shields, couldn't see out of it.

    now got a more surgical type of mask, will try it out shopping next week

    but last week went to Wilkos first where a sign said please talk to staff, I did not want to staff so struggled with the poundland mask and almost ripped it off my face after using the self service till. poundland didn't bother putting it on and no one said anything and same at tescos.

    most of the time I have not worn a mask, when they first ordered them to be used I remember in asda a female member of staff shook her head as she went past me as I was maskless, the irony of course that she did not have a mask on either.

    it bothers me, this control, it is sinister and does not make sense; wear them in Tesco but staff don't have to and you don't if you eat in the café. I carry my own handgel sanitiser in my rucksack, as a victim of many colds and flu I know how easy they are transmitted, makes sense to do the hands.

    then the 2 meter rule, what a mess, and each supermarket had its own version; Tesco one way, asda one way, Sainsburys nothing. I don't know abut you but when I am shopping the aim is to get all the items I need as efficiently and quickly as possible and then get the f out of there while trying to avoid any agro or abuses. the number of times I forgot about the one way or just needed something at the end of an isle, then one time in Tesco I was following the correct one way down the isle, I passed this man in one and he gave me a funny look, going in the wrong direction he was, then in the next isle he had a go at me! when I was right!

    . then the number of rule breakers! they had their stories worked out on my street, half residential half retail etc. police messing about following me home from shopping as I walked and them in cars! cheeky gits!

    it is the children who will suffer the most, they have no clue how much damage has been done to them over this.

    I watch allot of live cameras in the Netherlands, so sad to see such a beautiful country and people affected by this but I was very happy when they lifted restrictions before us and they have been on beaches, markets, at cafes and in the stores, hardly a mask seen on them. they have it sorted.

    this lot threw the elderly under the wheels, I think this is why we are still being treated like prisoners still by BoJo sooner or later the questions will be expected to be answered. hope to god it does not come back on to the disabled, haven't we suffered enough already with the benefit assessments etc.

    Sorry, what happened, where am I? lol talking to myself again....

  • Parrot123Parrot123 Member Posts: 122 Courageous

    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
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Community champion Posts: 21,138 Disability Gamechanger
    Parrot123 said:

    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

    My daughter is excempt because she has Autism. She also has social anxiety and going out is a huge task for her. I got her an exemption card because no way am i prepared to cause her any more anxiety than she already has.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • Parrot123Parrot123 Member Posts: 122 Courageous
    No I totally understand I worked with Autistic children. I loved it. Take care x
  • deb74deb74 Member Posts: 651 Pioneering
    As of 14th September it became mandatory for us to wear masks in Wales. Thanks to Chloe putting a link on here for the sunflower lanyard system I now have an exemption card that I can use when I go into the shops. Thanks Chloe!
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