Face Covering Exemption: Not Everyone Can Wear One

From 10th July 2020 it has become mandatory to wear a face covering in Scotland when in certain areas. However, some people are exempt from wearing these. Disability Equality Scotland have provided the following useful information:

The use of face coverings is now mandatory in Scotland in shops and on public transport.

It is important to recognise that not everyone can wear a face covering.

People are exempt if:

  • They have a disability or health condition that means they cannot put a covering on
  • A covering will cause them severe distress or anxiety
  • They need to communicate with someone who relies on lip reading
  • They have a reasonable need to eat, drink or take medicine

There is no requirement to obtain evidence in the form of a letter from a doctor or government that you are exempt. If you have a condition which means you cannot wear a face covering you need only advise if asked that you cannot wear a face covering because you are exempt for one of the reasons listed above.

Face Covering Exemption Card 

You do not need to prove to anyone that you are exempt, but if it would make you feel more confident in public, please download or print out one of the cards below to explain that you are exempt.

If displaying the card on your phone, download your chosen card by clicking the link below ending in ‘(PNG)’. By keeping this saved in your phone’s photo gallery, you may find it easier to readily show the card if asked in a shop or on public transport.

To download and print out a paper version of the exemption card, click the link below ending in ‘(PDF)’. Once printed, cut out the card you prefer – this should fit inside a wallet or purse.

The following organisations are also offering face covering exemption cards and badges:

Disability Hate Crime

If you have received abuse for not wearing a covering, visit Disability Equality Scotland’s Disability Safety Hub for information on how to recognise and report disability hate crime.



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