Recent Government guidelines state that those who are unable to “put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability” do not have to wear a mask. It is also not necessary for those with exemptions to “show any written evidence of this” or “show an exemption card”.
However, disability rights activists have recently raised concerns with the NPCC over recent reports of police telling those with disabilities they must carry written evidence to prove their exemption. Big Brother Watch, along with Disability Rights UK, Mencap, The Royal Institute for Deaf People, and The Survivors Trust are appealing to the NPCC to clarify these exemptions and prevent ableist police behaviour.
Our legal and policy officer, Madeleine Stone, stated in this article: “There is a real risk that disabled people will bear the brunt of the Government’s push for faster and harder enforcement of its complicated rules.
“Police requiring people to ‘show their papers’ to prove their disability is discriminatory, wrong and has no basis in law.”