Face mask exemption cards launched to tackle abuse

People exempt from wearing face masks due to medical conditions will now be available to those who need one after reports of abuse for not wearing a covering.

Scots who are exempt from wearing face masks will now be able to have cards to prove their exemption
Scots who are exempt from wearing face masks will now be able to have cards to prove their exemption

The card, which will be branded with the Healthier Scotland and NHS Scotland logos and the FACTS campaign will be available to be worn on a lanyard or hold in a wallet.

The Scottish government aim for it to be used for when those exempt from wearing face coverings are challenged for not doing so.

Shirley Anne Somerville, secretary for social security and older people 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 card can be requested from Disability Equality Scotland and can also be used in a digital format to be displayed on a phone.

Morven Brooks, chief executive 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.”

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