What does the UK law say on wearing a face covering?
It is now compulsory in England for anyone aged 11 or over to wear a face covering on public transport, in NHS facilities as a visitor or outpatient, or (from 24 July) inside shops.
These rules do not apply to a person with dementia if they have a ‘reasonable excuse’ not to wear a face covering. A reasonable excuse could be:
- They cannot physically put on or wear a face covering.
- Wearing the face covering would cause them severe distress.
- Someone with them needs to read their lips to communicate.
- They need to remove the face covering temporarily to eat, drink or take medication.
If someone in authority – such as a transport police officer or ticket inspector – challenges the person for not covering their face, explain that they have dementia and can’t. That should be enough to stop any further action. Carrying a helpcard from the Alzheimer's Society is also a good idea: our helpcards