Face Covering Exemption: Not Everyone Can Wear One

Face Mask Exemption infographic featuring illustration of a face mask and Disability Equality Scotland logo Also features the following text People are exempt if: They have a disability or health condition that means they cannot put a mask on. They have a disability or health condition that means they cannot put a mask on. A mask will cause them severe distress They need to communicate with someone who relies on lip reading They need to eat, drink or take medicine

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)’ or ‘(PDF)’. 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.

PNG

PDF

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.

If you do not have a home printer or smartphone, and would prefer a physical card to be sent to your address, contact admin@disabilityequality.scot or phone 0141 370 0968. Please note there may be a waiting period of 1-2 weeks before the card reaches you.

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 our Disability Safety Hub for information on how to recognise and report disability hate crime.