Face mask exempt badges
From late June 2020 to early March 2021 Euan’s Guide sent out well over 20,000 badges to disabled people who are exempt from wearing a face covering according to the Government guidelines. In addition to the badges, we also supplied thousands of exempt people with printable resources to help them indicate their exempt status.
When we first created the badges there were very little resources out there for people who were exempt who wished to quickly and easily signal their exempt status. Now we are pleased to say that there are many resources out there to help.
Resources to help indicate your exempt status:
- Gov.uk has resources you can download and show on your mobile or print and carry with you
- The Scottish Government has produced a physical and digital card. To request a card visit exempt.scot
- The Welsh Government have a card which you can print out and use.
Existing resources for disabled people
- British Lung Foundation downloadable graphic
- Keep Safe cards
- Transport for London cards
- Brighton and Hove Buses cards
- First Bus cards
- Stagecoach cards
- Arriva cards
- Nexus journey cards
When and where to wear a face covering
Our message has always been to wear a face covering if you can. The English, Scottish, Northern Irish and Welsh Governments have each shared a list of places where face coverings must be worn and have detailed instances where individuals may not be able to wear a face covering. Please follow Government guidance to check when a face covering is necessary and to determine if you are exempt from wearing a face covering:
As you will see from the guidelines, there are clearly legitimate reasons why someone may be unable to wear a face covering and people’s reasons for being exempt may not be visible. We ask the public and venues to be respectful of this. At the time of writing, carrying something like our badge or the resources listed above which helps to indicate an individual’s exempt status is a personal choice and not required by law.
An update on our Face Mask Exempt badges
We sent out well over 20,000 badges, this is far more than we ever expected to send. As a small charity this was a huge task that took up a lot of our time and resources. Given that there are now other resources available for disabled people who are exempt according to Government guidance we have decided to stop sending out our badges and ask exempt disabled people to consider using the other free resources that are available.
As a charity we are still committed to making it easier for disabled people to visit places. We do this through our disabled access review website and projects such as our Access Survey and our Red Cord Cards.
Frequently asked questions
Should I wear a face covering?
Yes, anyone who can wear a face covering or face mask should wear one. Our badges and the resources we have shared on this page are only for people who are exempt from wearing a face covering. Check the Government guidelines to see if this applies to you.
Do these resources make me exempt from wearing a face covering?
No. If you think that you are exempt from wearing a face covering, please check the Government guidance. If you feel that you are exempt based on the Government guidance, and are based in the UK then you can use the resources to help you indicate your exempt status.
What happens if someone requested a badge who is not exempt?
We clearly stated that our badges and printouts were for disabled people who consider themselves to be exempt from wearing a face covering. Requesting a badge or using the printouts unnecessarily is despicable. Anyone who does that will not only have wasted our small charity’s resources but will be making the lives of people who cannot legitimately wear a face mask much worse. We have to rely on goodwill that these resources will only be used by individuals who require them. We feel that the benefit to our users outweigh the risks and hope that the minority don’t ruin it for the majority.
Are they “legal”?
No. At the time of writing there is currently no legal requirement to prove you don’t need to wear a face covering. The resources are a safe and easily identifiable way to indicate to people that you are not able to wear a face covering. Our badges and printouts were not designed to act as official proof that the wearer is exempt from wearing a mask, but to prevent unnecessary harassment. We encourage everyone to read the relevant Government guidance for more information.