Guidance

Face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make one

This page explains when to wear a face covering, exemptions from wearing one, and how to make your own face covering.

Documents

Exemption from face covering badge (for mobile phone)

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.

Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email publiccorrespondence@cabinetoffice.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Exemption from face covering badge (to print)

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.

Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email publiccorrespondence@cabinetoffice.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Exemption from face covering card (to print)

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.

Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email publiccorrespondence@cabinetoffice.gov.uk. Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Details

This page explains what face coverings are, their role in reducing the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19), the settings in which they are recommended and how they should be safely used and stored. This information is based on current scientific evidence and is subject to change.

Exemption cards or badges

Some people may feel more comfortable showing something that says they do not have to wear a face covering. This could be in the form of an exemption card, badge or even a home-made sign.

This is a personal choice and is not necessary in law.

If you would like to use an exemption card you can use the PDF attachments on this page.

Those who have an age, health or disability reason not to wear a face covering should not be routinely asked to provide any written evidence of this. Written evidence includes exemption cards.

Published 14 July 2020
Last updated 26 November 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated to reflect the change from national to regional restrictions in England on 2 December. Added guidance about wearing visors. Updated guidance about 'reasonable excuses' and exemption badges and cards.

  2. Text added to 'When to wear a face covering', 'When you do not need to wear a face covering' and 'Staff in indoor settings' to make people aware that from 5 November some of the settings listed may not be open because of the national restrictions.

  3. Added estate agents and theatres to the list under 'When to wear a face covering'. Further clarity has been made to the section 'Staff in indoor settings'.

  4. Changes have been made to the following sections: 'When to wear a face covering', 'Enforcement measures for failing to comply with this law', 'When you do not need to wear a face covering' and 'Face coverings at work'.

  5. Updated with information about penalty fines for not wearing a face covering.

  6. Added that face coverings are required in sports stadiums. Updated exemptions to show when face coverings are not required.

  7. Updated enforcement action to reflect announced fine amounts.

  8. Added that face coverings are required in these settings: casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor play areas, exhibition halls and conference centres.

  9. Page updated in line with the latest government guidance.

  10. Update to guidance

  11. This page has been updated with information about face mask exemptions

  12. First published.