PLEASE BE AWARE DOMESTIC ABUSE ASSULTS OFTEN INVOLVE STRANGULATION OR COVERING OF THE MOUTH AND FACE - THIS RESULTS IN PANIC ATTACKS FROM SURVIVORS AND THEY ARE UNABLE TO WEAR A FACE COVERING DUE TO THIS ANXIETY.
They do not have to explain this to anyone!!
Recently there have been many misunderstandings about the use and exemption of face masks. This post aims to clarify and point you to proof should the need arise to complain about the customer service or experience you receive in certain stores or public transport when you are exempt.
This information relates to the use of face coverings in public spaces where social distancing is not always possible. It is important to follow all the other government advice on coronavirus (COVID-19). Face coverings are used in reducing the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). This information is based on current scientific evidence and is subject to change. Updated guidance is via the link at the end of this post.
You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a legitimate reason not to. This includes (but is not limited to):
1. young children under the age of 11 (Public Health England do not recommended face coverings for children under the age of 3 for health and safety reasons)
2. not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
3. if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
4. 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
5. to avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
6. to eat or drink if reasonably necessary
7. in order to take medication
8. if a police officer or other official requests you remove your face covering
9. There are also scenarios when you are permitted to remove a face covering when asked;
9.1 if asked to do so in a bank, building society, or post office for identification
9.2 if asked to do so by shop staff or relevant employees for identification, the purpose of assessing health 9.3 recommendations, such as a pharmacist, or for age 9.4 identification purposes including when buying age restricted products such as alcohol
9.5 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.
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.
NOTE * This is a personal choice and is not necessary in law.
Those who have an age, health or disability reason for not wearing a face covering should not be routinely asked to give any written evidence of this. Written evidence includes exemption cards. Shop staff and members of the public are only allowed to 'encourage' others to wear face masks. They legally cannot ask you to provide written proof of disability, this includes Exemption cards.
Included in this post you can find these cards, print them, (folding and laminating them are ideal but not necessary) out and routinely show these when you enter a store to avoid unnecessary confrontation with staff who are not familiar with the current guidelines or others who are simply confrontational.
For up-to-date guidance please visit the Government website : https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own