Face masks, or a suitable covering over the nose and mouth, will be mandatory in shops in England from Saturday 24th July, and have been mandatory for some time on public transport. While we would want to encourage everyone to wear a fask mask in these circumstances if possible, there are some legitimate exemptions. The full Government advice on this is available on their website.
The list of exemptions is as follows:
young children under the age of 11
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
to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others
to avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
to eat or drink, but only if you need to
to take medication
if a police officer or other official requests you remove your face covering
There are also scenarios when you are permitted to remove a face covering when asked:
If asked to do so by shop staff for the purpose of age identification
If speaking with people who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound. Some may ask you, either verbally or in writing, to remove a covering to help with communication
If you are exempt on medical grounds, then you DO NOT NEED A LETTER FROM YOUR GP TO CONFIRM THIS as you are allowed to self-declare. We are very grateful to you for not asking us for a letter, we will not be able to do one, as you can imagine how many letters we could be asked for.
You don't have to wear an 'exemption' badge, but you might like to wear something that explains to other people why you are not wearing a mask, so that they don't think you are breaking the rules. You can make your own badge for this, and could use the image that is on this post if you have breathing problems, or there are some great pre-made badges here that you can download and print out.