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Face Coverings Posted on 21 Jul 2020

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. 

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