Face Coverings and You

The wearing of face coverings will become mandatory in England from Friday 24th July. As is the case with public transport, if you have a disability such as autism that means you are unable to wear a face covering without suffering extreme distress, you will be exempt from the rules.

The follow is a list of locations where this is required (from gov.uk):

  • public transport
  • indoor transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)
  • shops and supermarkets (places which are open to the public and that wholly or mainly offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
  • indoor shopping centres
  • banks, building societies, and post offices (including credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses)

You are expected to wear a face covering immediately before entering any of these settings and must keep it on until you leave.

However, some people are exempt and do not need to wear a face covering in these locations:

You do not need to wear a face covering if you have a legitimate reason not to. This includes (but is not limited to):

  • 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)
  • 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 if reasonably necessary
  • in order 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 in a bank, building society, or post office for identification
  • if asked to do so by shop staff or relevant employees for identification, the purpose of assessing health recommendations, such as a pharmacist, or for age identification purposes including when buying age restricted products such as alcohol
  • 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

People who are exempt do not need to carry identification or an “exception card”, however if you choose to do so there are various cards that can be printed or ordered from various organisations that can be used to explain to retail staff that you have a hidden disability and are exempt, such as the Sunflower Lanyard.

The latest and complete information can be found here on the gov.uk website

#AutismAwareness #HiddenDisabilities #Covid19 #DontJudge #KeepSafe

Face Coverings and You

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