From the 24th July 2020 it will be mandatory by law to wear a face covering in shops, supermarkets, transport hubs and other enclosed public spaces in England, as part of the effort to curb the spread of coronavirus. Face coverings have been required to be worn on public transport in England since the 15th June. (Different rules apply in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.)
Exemptions apply for disabilities or conditions such as autism where wearing a face covering would cause distress. To assist with explaining the need for an exemption, information cards suitable for displaying on a phone or printing are available on the GOV.UK website (click on the link to access PDF downloads).
Note that it is not a requirement in law to carry an information card or medical evidence supporting an exemption – the Government website advises:
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.
Those who have an age, health or disability reason for not wearing a face covering should not be routinely asked to give any written evidence of this. Written evidence includes exemption cards.
Further resources and advice are available from the National Autistic Society.