Face coverings have become commonplace in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, and they’re set to be even more so after the rules over wearing them in shops in England comes into force on 24 July. The new ruling states that face coverings will be compulsory – bringing England into line with Scotland where it is already mandatory to wear a mask or covering in shops – with those who don’t comply potentially facing a £100 fine. There are, however, some exemptions from the face covering rule, which include those suffering from certain medical conditions as well as children. So just who is exempt from wearing a face covering?
Who is exempt from wearing a face covering?
According to the Government’s website, the following are exempt from wearing a face covering:
Children under the age of 11
Anyone who is not able to put on, wear or remove a face mask because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
Anyone for whom putting on, wearing or removing a face mask will cause severe distress
If you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
If you are trying to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others
If you are trying to avoid injury or escape the risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
If you need to eat, drink or take medication If you are requested to remove your face covering by a police officer or another official Some people are exempt from face coverings
There are also circumstances in which you are permitted to remove a face covering:
If you are asked to do so by shop staff for the purposes of age identification
If you are speaking with people who are reliant on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound – in which case they may ask you to remove a face covering to help with communication
Read more: Who is exempt from wearing a face covering?