A number of patients have contacted the surgery recently to ask whether they could have a letter exempting them from the Government’s new guidance on wearing face masks. We do not routinely issue letters to this effect simply because there is no requirement for one – the Government guidance, at the time of writing, is that it is sufficient to “self-declare” that a mask is not appropriate.
Guidance on who is exempt from wearing face coverings can be found at the Government’s website here – as well as advice on how to make your own. Please note that the advice is to cover your mouth and nose, but that this doesn’t necessarily have to be with a “mask”. We have found that some people are more comfortable using a scarf, “buff” or homemade solution – these are all fine as long as they cover the nose and mouth, are breathable, and use at least 2 layers of fabric. We strongly support the wearing of face coverings where possible
Those exempted from wearing face coverings are:
Young children under the age of 11
Those not able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
Those where putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause them severe distress
People travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
Those needing to remove it to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to themselves or others
People entering a “mask only area” to avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm, who do not have a face covering with them
You are also allowed to remove your mask to take medicine or to eat and drink if necessary – as well as if instructed to by a Police Officer or other official.
If you fulfil any of these requirements you do not need to wear a mask. Again, you don’t need a doctor’s letter to support this. If you would find it easier to have something to present to people when challenged on this, KeepSafe have a number of cards you can print at home, or put on to your phone to present as required.
We hope this information is of help to you.