Face Masks

The surgery will not be issuing ‘face mask exemption’ cards or lanyards

Many people are anxious about the new requirement in Wales to wear face coverings in enclosed spaces.

We have had numerous requests to issue an ‘exemption’ for this.

It is not a GPs decision who is and who isn’t exempt from this requirement, the government are asking individuals to make this decision for themselves.

They define a  ‘reasonable excuse’ not to wear a facemask as:

  • You are not able to put on or to wear a face covering because of a physical or mental illness, or because of a disability of impairment
  • You are accompanying someone who relies on lip reading where they need to communicate
  • You are escaping from a threat or danger

This depends on the individual, and the circumstances, so someone may feel able to wear a mask sometimes, but not at other times.

Because some disabilities and impairments are not always visible, the government website advises people where possible to carry information demonstrating why they have a reasonable excuse not to wear a face covering.

              Simple examples they give include a repeat prescription sheet or a hospital appointment letter: there is no need for a ‘medical exemption’ card or lanyard, though some patients will feel more confident if they have one.

Many of these can be ordered online, or printed from a website. Here are some useful looking resources we have found. We would be pleased to hear of any resources you are aware of. Unfortunately, few of them are bilingual.

UK government website (printable exemption cards for multiple scenarios)

www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-covering-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

Autism.org (comprehensive explanatory sheet. Bilingual)

https://www.autism.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/resources/downloads/face-masks

British Lung Foundation (for those with breathing problems- printable exemption card)

https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/coronavirus/what-should-people-with-a-lung-condition-do-now/face-coverings

Euan’s Guide (a website that offers disabled access reviews. Online request for a badge in the post, download a badge cover to print)

www.euansguide.com/news/face-mask-exempt-badges

Hidden Disabilities (lanyards and exemption cards)

https://hiddendisabilitiesstore.com/hidden-disabilities-face-covering.html

Sheffield CCG have a downloadable resource covering multiple scenarios

https://www.sheffieldccg.nhs.uk/downloads/Your%20health/mask%20exemption%20cards.pdf

Ebay

Have a range of badges or lanyards priced from £1 to £4. Search for ‘face mask exempt badge’ or ‘face mask exempt lanyard’

A number of organisations such as transport operators also have created cards that can be printed from their websites.

We hope that you find this information and the resources useful

The Team at Meddygfa Betws y Coed