At present, the government guidance is that people who are exempt can self-justify their exemption. There is no requirement for a medical letter of exemption. GPs may be asked to produce evidence to support exemption, and should inform patient that this is not required and should not offer to produce them for a fee. If they do want evidence, an exemption card can be downloaded for free from www.keepsafe.org.uk.
You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a legitimate reason not to. This includes:
- 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 expression and clear sound. Some may ask you, either verbally or in writing, to remove a covering to help with communication
For more information, please visit the Government website.