Government Exemptions for using Face Masks on Public Transport

Posted on 14th July, 2020

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On 15 June 2020 it became law that you must wear a face covering when travelling via public transport in England (PDF). Strangely it seems that viruses, such as COVID19, do not affect people who offer or use "a school transport service" or "a taxi or private hire vehicle service", as they are exempt from this law? (Para 2.2)


From the government guidance "safer travel guidance for passengers ... during the coronavirus outbreak - Exemptions - people who do not have to wear a face covering" :

"You ... do not need to wear a face covering if you have a good reason not to. This includes: ... if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause you severe distress" (Guidance & PDF 

This raised and continues to raise so many unanswered questions:

How is this proven so as not to be fined or 'attacked' by mask-wearing members of the public? Is a doctor's appointment and written letter required?


If there are medical breathing reasons for exemptions, e.g. asthma, then surely that implies mask wearing does restrict your breathing and has an adverse effect on your health?


Why are enforcement officers considered safe from the virus and exempt from wearing masks?


Why are there blanket exemptions for some people in jobs but not others? How are these people safe from catching the virus but general public is not?

E.g. The following are exempt with regards to travel - an employee of a transport operator, any other person providing services to the transport operator, a constable or police community support officer, an emergency responder - paramedic or fire officer and a border force officer.   


If the majority of indoor places are deemed safe, why are masks needed in shops, especially now as Lockdown is being lifted?


Will masks also be required in schools, offices, pubs, even outdoor sports areas in the future?

Is this the end of public social gatherings e.g. pubs, places of worship, sports events, etc. Will this finally kill the high street, with consequential loss of jobs, and see a cashless society as advantaged people move to online shopping? 


Also see:

22APR21 - Face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own (PDF)


24MAY21 - Face coverings in education (PDF)



Related post Mask Wearing Notice of Conditional Acceptance

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