Face masks on public transport
The requirements to wear a face mask don’t apply to children under the age of 11 and disabled people or those with health conditions when there is a ‘reasonable excuse‘ not to. This includes:
- where you cannot put on, wear, or remove a face covering:
- without severe distress
- because of any physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability (within the meaning of section 6 of the Equality Act 2010)
- where you are travelling with, or providing assistance to, another person who relies on lip-reading to communicate
- to eat or drink where it is reasonably necessary to do so
- where you have to remove your face covering to take medication
To put this into context, exemptions apply if you have a disability or condition that would make it very difficult to wear a face covering.
For example, if you have respiratory condition, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, you may find it too difficult to breathe through a face covering.
If you have a learning difficulty, sensory processing disorder or neurodivergent condition, wearing a mask could be too overwhelming.
If you have communication difficulties, speech impairment or find it hard to express yourself with a mask on, especially if you are non-verbal, a mask would be difficult.
Mask exemptions also apply if you need to communicate with a deaf person who lip-reads.
Please refer to the government guidance for more information.