Face mask exempt badges
A simple way to signify that you are not able to wear a face mask
These badges are designed for people who are exempt from wearing face coverings.
If you are worried about going out without wearing a face covering and want an easy way to show people you pass that you are exempt, then please order one of our face mask exempt badges.
As a small charity, we have been blown away by the support and interest in these badges for people who are exempt from wearing face masks in the UK. Due to the high demand, it is currently taking us around 10 days to fulfil the orders that are coming in.
These badges quickly signal to people why you are not wearing a mask. The idea behind it is to make the user feel more comfortable visiting places where the majority of people will be wearing face coverings.
People can be quick to judge others and many people don’t yet understand who all are exempt from wearing face masks. Research from Disability Rights UK showed that 60% of people who cannot wear a face covering fear being challenged for not wearing one. It is a concern that our users were also feeding back to us, which is why we decided to create these badges. We know how upsetting it can be to be confronted by a stranger and so our hope is that our badges will do the talking on your behalf.
The badges simply say: “face mask exempt”. We’ve included our logo and website so people know where they can request a badge for themselves.
Ways you can support us
We now have a limited number of face mask exempt badges available free of charge. We ask that you only order as many badges as you require and that you consider donating or helping in another way to help cover the costs. Here are some different ways you can help us:
- Donate. Donating helps us cover some of the costs involved. It is costing us £10 to send out badges to five people, so if you can pay it forward you will help ensure we can keep offering badges for longer.
- Start reviewing places you visit (when it is safe to do so). Find out more about reviewing on Euan’s Guide.
- Tell people about us! Spread the word on social media and let people know about us and the work that we do. You can tag us using @EuansGuide or use #EuansGuide.
- Spend 10 minutes completing our Covid Concerns and Precautions survey to let us know about your concerns around places reopening.
- Join our Red Cord Card campaign to help raise awareness of the importance of red emergency cords and make accessible toilets across the UK safer.
Face covering rules and guidance (last updated Friday 3 July 2020)
As different rules and guidelines apply across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland we recommend that you familiarise yourself with the relevant government’s policy and guidance. You will find links to their webpages below.
In England it is now a legal requirement to wear a face covering when travelling. The guidelines for England states that “You also do not need to wear a face covering if you have a good reason not to.” Find out who this includes on their website.
The rules in Scotland are that people must wear a face covering on public transport and public transport premises. From Friday 10 July it will also be compulsory to wear a face covering in shops. Similarly, they recognise that this is not possible for everyone and in the guidelines for Scotland you can find out who is exempt from this rule and in what circumstances you may be exempt.
It is not a requirement to wear a face mask in Wales at the time of writing. The Welsh Government has this page answering some of their frequently asked questions surrounding the use of face coverings in Wales.
In Northern Ireland you must wear a face covering on public transport from Friday 10 July. Follow the link to find the guidance for Northern Ireland, including their list of 'reasonable excuse' when an individual does not need to wear a face covering on public transport.
The great news is that we are not the only ones offering identifiers to help you let people know you are exempt from having to wear a face covering. The following services are providing cards if you would prefer a discreet option or would like more information that you can show staff:
- Transport for London cards
- Brighton and Hove Buses cards
- First Bus cards
- Stagecoach cards
- Keep Safe have produced learning disability, autism and parent and child cards.
- Or you can purchase a face covering exempt card to clip onto your Hidden Disabilities lanyard from The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard Scheme®
Have we missed someone? If you know if any other places providing people with face covering exempt cards or anything similar please just let us know.
Frequently asked questions
Should I wear a mask?
Yes, anyone who can wear a mask should wear a mask. Our badges are only for people who are exempt from wearing a face covering. Check the Government guidelines for England, Scotland and Northern Ireland to see if this applies to you.
Do these badges 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 we will be happy to send you a badge. These badges are not designed to act as official proof that the wearer is exempt from wearing a face covering. If you feel that you are exempt from wearing a face covering, these badges are designed for you to help show or tell other people.
What happens if someone requests a badge who is not exempt?
We clearly state that these badges are for people who consider themselves to be exempt from wearing a face covering. Requesting a badge unnecessarily is despicable. Anyone who does that will not only be wasting our small charity’s resources but making the lives of people who cannot legitimately wear a face mask much worse. We have to rely on goodwill that these 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 badges are a safe and easily identifiable way to indicate to people that you are not able to wear a face covering. These badges are not designed to act as official proof that the wearer is exempt from wearing a mask, but have been designed to prevent unnecessary harassment. We encourage everyone to read the relevant Government guidance for more information.