Face mask exemption card released by Scottish Government

Those who cannot wear a covering for health reasons can now request a physical or digital card.

Face mask exemption card released by Scottish Government Getty Images

A card has been launched for people who are exempt from wearing a face covering.

Those who cannot wear a covering for health reasons can request a physical or digital card, so they can show others they are not required to do so.

Under coronavirus rules, face coverings must be worn in a number of public settings, such as shops and on public transport.

They must also be worn by secondary school pupils in corridors and communal areas, where distancing is difficult to maintain, and now by employees in communal workspaces.

There are exemptions for young children and people with certain health conditions.

Social security secretary Anne Somerville said: “Everyone who can do so is legally obliged to wear a face covering where it is mandated by law.

“But there are some people who cannot, due to health conditions, disabilities or other special circumstances where a face covering may cause difficulty or distress.

“Discrimination against people in this situation is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

“We have developed this card in conjunction with a range of equality stakeholders as something which can clearly communicate to others if you are exempt from the regulations.”

The face covering exemption card is branded with the Healthier Scotland and NHS Scotland logos under the FACTS for a Safer Scotland campaign.

A physical card can be requested from Disability Equality Scotland to wear on a lanyard or hold in a wallet, while a digital card is also available to be displayed on a phone, tablet or other device.

Morven Brooks, chief executive officer of Disability Equality Scotland, said: “Since face coverings became mandatory, we have been inundated with calls from our members, many of whom cannot wear face coverings for a variety of health reasons.

“The launch of the Scottish Government exemption card will help disabled people to feel more comfortable and confident to go about their daily lives free from fear of harassment and abuse.”

Physical and digital cards are available to request online at exempt.scot or via a free helpline on 0800 121 6240.