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Supermarkets have cracked down on customers not wearing masks without a medical exemption.
Asda, Morrisons, Tesco and Sainsbury’s are amongst supermarkets that will deny entry to shoppers who do not wear face coverings unless they are medically exempt.
The Government’s medical advisors say face coverings reduce the spread of coronavirus droplets from coughs, sneezes and speaking, reports The Mirror.
They should mainly be worn to protect other people from coronavirus, rather than yourself.
When worn correctly, they should cover the nose and mouth, which are the main confirmed sources of transmission.
They can help to reduce the spread of the virus from people who are contagious, including those who have no symptoms, or are yet to develop them.
In England, face coverings must be worn on public transport, in shops, supermarkets, banks, post offices, places of worship, museums, galleries, entertainment venues and libraries.
People can be refused travel for not following the rules or fined as a last resort.
In England, the police can issue a £200 fine to someone breaking the face covering rules. In Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, a £60 fine can be imposed. Repeat offenders face bigger fines.
Face mask exemptions – all you need to know
The government currently says you don’t have to wear a covering if you have “a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability” and would experience “severe distress” from doing so.
If you are travelling with someone who requires lip-reading or reading facial expressions, wearing a mask will not be compulsory.
The new rule will not apply to retail staff, but will apply to all members of the public. Children under 11 are also exempt.
What is the face mask exemption card?
The Government says you will not be asked to show written evidence if you’re not wearing a face mask – with supermarkets and shops urged to be mindful towards those who may have special circumstances.
However, exemption cards and badges are available if you’re worried about being stopped.
This is a personal choice, and is not necessary in law.
It’s in the form of an e-document that you can save on your phone.
The charity Hidden Disabilities has also created a face mask exemption card for anyone with the right requirements to be exempt from the law.
This card simply indicates that you have a hidden disability, illness or impairment and have a reasonable excuse not to wear a face-covering.
The card costs 55p, but could provide you with the peace of mind in case you are stopped.
It can also make individuals feel better knowing they have something to show, if needed, a reason as to why they are not wearing a mask.
“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.”
This content was originally published here.