Face Covering Exemptions

Exemptions – people who do not have to wear a face covering on public transport and in substantially enclosed areas of transport hubs.

The requirement to wear a face covering does not apply to:

  • A child under the age of 11
  • Passengers in an allocated cabin, berth or other similar accommodation, when they are alone or with members of their household or support bubble
  • Passengers who remain in their private vehicle while on board public transport, for example on a car ferry
  • A person who enters or is within a transport hub in a vehicle (other than a vehicle being used for the provision of a public transport service)
  • An employee of the transport hub or the relevant public transport operator, when they are acting in the course of their employment
  • Any other person providing services to the transport hub or public transport operator, under arrangements made with the transport hub or transport operator, who is providing those services
  • A constable or police community support officer acting in the course of their duty
  • An emergency responder such as a paramedic or fire officer acting in the course of their duty
  • An official, for example a border force officer, acting in the course of their duties

Legitimate reasons not to wear a face covering

You also do not need to wear a face covering if you have a legitimate reason not to. This includes:

  • If you have a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means you cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering
  • If putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause you severe distress
  • If you are travelling with, or providing help to, someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
  • If you are travelling to avoid injury or escape the risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
  • If you need to remove it during your journey to avoid harm or injury or the risk of harm or injury to yourself or others
  • If you need to eat, drink, or take medication on public transport
  • If you are asked to remove your face covering by a police officer or other official, for example to check your railcard
  • In other situations set out in further government face covering guidance

Below is an exemption card that you can print and display if you meet these exemption reasons: