Face masks exemption campaign launched

Face mask

A charity is highlighting that many disabled people are unable to wear face masks 

7th July 2020 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

A new campaign has been launched to highlight that many Scots are unable to wear face masks.

Disability Equality Scotland this week unveiled a campaign to raise awareness of those who are exempt from wearing face coverings.

Scottish Government guidance announced that face coverings have been mandatory on public transport since 22 June and will become mandatory in shops from Friday (10 July). 

However, there are many disabled people who cannot wear a face covering for a number of reasons. 

Discretion is allowed for people who have a disability or health condition that means they cannot put a face covering on, and where wearing a mask would cause them severe distress.  People are also exempt if they need to communicate with someone who relies on lip reading and if they must eat, drink or take medication.

Disability Equality Scotland has been alarmed by the numbers of disabled people stating they have been challenged and intimidated by members of the public for not wearing a face covering and through this campaign, is urging members of the public to be more tolerant of others.

Morven Brooks, chief executive of the charity, said: “I am deeply concerned that disabled people are being confronted for not wearing face coverings when they are doing so for legitimate reasons. Our campaign is calling on members of the public and businesses to be aware of the exemptions that are in place to highlight that not everyone can wear a face covering. Disabled people should never face intimidation, please be mindful and considerate of others.”

Disability Equality Scotland is asking disabled people to share their stories if they feel they have been subjected to abuse or harassment for not wearing a face covering. A poster is available on the charity’s website to download and share.