The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends the use of face coverings to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. The best scientific and medical evidence available is that, when used correctly, wearing a face covering provides some additional protection, especially in crowded and less well ventilated spaces, and where 1 metre physical distancing is not possible.
That is why the Scottish Government has made face coverings mandatory on public transport, shops, most indoor public places and indoor communal areas within workplaces. More information on the benefits of face coverings, how to make, wear and clean one safely, as well as a full list of places where they need to be worn can be found on the Scottish Government website .
Most people can wear a face covering and must do so in the mandated spaces in order to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in Scotland and protect ourselves, each other and the NHS.
Face Covering Exemptions
There are situations where some people are unable to, or it would be inappropriate for them, to wear a face covering. The reasons why someone might be exempt are explained on the face covering exemptions page
You do not need to provide written proof that you are exempt, but if it would make you feel more safe and confident in public and when accessing and using public spaces and services you can request a face covering exemption card by completing the online form.
Before requesting an exemption card, please ensure that you are exempt from wearing a face covering for the reasons outlined on the face covering exemptions page .
If you are unable to complete the online form you can also request a face covering exemption card by telephone on 0800 121 6240 (Open 10am to 3pm, Mondays and Thursdays).
If you are a British Sign Language user you can contact us using contactSCOTLAND-BSL the online British Sign Language interpreting service.
We recognise that other face covering exemption cards, badges and lanyards have been produced and these can still be used.
Disability Hate Crime
If you have received abuse for not wearing a face covering, you can visit the Disability Safety Hub for information on how to recognise and report disability hate crime.
View this information in our easy read PDF document.