Face mask exemption cards are available from the government to any supermarket shopper – all you have to do is qualify for one and apply.
The government currently says you don’t have to wear a covering if you have “a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability”.
Tesco, Asda and Waitrose are the latest supermarkets to take a tougher stance on customers who refuse to wear a face covering without a medical exemption, and they all urged shoppers to be respectful towards staff.
Aldi has also changed its rules, alongside Sainsbury’s, after Morrisons became the first major chain to ban all shoppers not wearing face masks unless they are exempt.
The government confirms supermarket shoppers do not have to sport a face covering if they would experience “severe distress” from doing so.
It came as a police chief said officers will be on stand-by to help with dissenters who become “aggressive” in supermarkets.
- Children (under 11 in England or Wales, under 13 in Northern Ireland, under five in Scotland)
- If you’re travelling with someone who requires lip-reading
- Those unable to put on or wear a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or disability
- People for whom wearing or removing a face covering will cause severe distress
- Anyone assisting someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
- To eat, drink or take medication
You can you can get an exemption card for free from the government here.
“Businesses who are members of the scheme are aware of our card and provide support, help, assistance or simply a little more time to those wearing the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower,” the Hidden Disabilities website explains.
“However, please note that shops and public transport can still refuse you entry if you are not wearing a face covering.”