Face Coverings

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends link icon 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.

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 link icon.

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 link icon

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 download a face covering exemption card.

Before downloading an exemption card, please ensure that you are exempt from wearing a face covering for the reasons outlined on the face covering exemptions page link icon.

We recognise that other face covering exemption cards, badges and lanyards have been produced and these can still be used.

Physical Card Disruption 

The Exemption Card Helpline is temporarily closed due to restrictions in place for the COP26 Climate Conference taking place in Glasgow. Logistical issues mean that the telephone line will be closed until Monday 15 November at 10am.

In the meantime, you can download a digital version of the exemption card from the website www.exempt.scot/download-a-card

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 documentlink icon.


This website is hosted by Disability Equality Scotland link icon on behalf of the Scottish Government link icon