Compulsory Wearing of Face Coverings

Introduction of the requirement for people to wear face coverings on Public Transport  and in shops is intended to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

There are certain groups of people who are exempt from this requirement and they include:

  • • children under the age of 11,
  • • people with disabilities
  • • those with breathing difficulties or
  • • those who are travelling with someone who relies on lip reading.

These groups of people, their parents or guardians are able to indicate the reason, if required, as to why they are not wearing a face covering. There is no requirement for general practice to issue letters for patients who are unable to wear face coverings, as the Government guidance clearly defines the exemptions to this requirement. The responsibility for issuing exemptions is with the transport provider, not GPs – see for example, this information from First Bus and Arriva. Similarly, practices are under no obligation to provide letters of support for anyone who does not fall under the list of exemptions but considers them to have another reason to be exempted.

Patients can print their own exemption document by using the following links

Exemption_from_face_covering_badge_for_mobile_phone Exemption_from_face_covering_badge_to_print Exemption_from_face_covering_card_to_print

General practice is under considerable pressure as a direct result of the current challenges they are faced with delivering a service to patients at the same time as coping with the consequences of this virus.

General practice needs to focus all its time and effort managing those who need their help and not be diverted from this by unnecessary tasks.

Further information from the LMC can be found here Face covering letter – shops and transport

Many thanks for your help and support in this matter.

The Team at The Vernon and Lanes Medical Centre