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People with disabilities exempt from wearing face covering under new government guidance Main Image

People with disabilities exempt from wearing face covering under new government guidance

Fri 24 Jul 2020

The Government has set out a list of face covering exemptions, as they became mandatory in additional enclosed spaces from Friday 24 July. 

The exemptions include anyone under the age of 11, or those with disabilities, or hidden health conditions such as breathing difficulties, mental health conditions or cognitive impairments. Exemption cards are available to download on

The public are asked to be mindful of people who are exempt from wearing a face covering when new regulations come into force tomorrow. The list of exemptions, which has been in place since face coverings became mandatory on public transport, includes hidden conditions such as anxiety or panic disorders, autism, breathing difficulties, dementia, reduced vision or if you are with someone who relies on lip reading to communicate.

Under the regulations, members of the public will need to wear face coverings that cover the nose and mouth in shops, supermarkets, shopping centres and transport hubs, to help curb the spread of the virus.

People are not required to prove they are exempt and it is for individuals to choose how they would want to communicate this to others. For those who would feel more comfortable showing something that says they do not have to wear a face covering, exemption cards are available to print or display on mobile phones from

Further guidance

The latest guidance can be found on

Those with the following circumstances are also exempt from wearing a mask: 

This list of exemptions is not exhaustive and extends to anyone with justifiable reason for not wearing one on the grounds of health or disability.

You also do not need to wear a face covering if you have a legitimate reason not to. This includes (but is not limited to):