Covid-19: Meeting in person and wearing face coverings
Our quick guide for adult siblings during the pandemic
The rules on face-to-face contact (whether you’re allowed to meet indoors or outdoors, how many people you can meet with, and from how many households) are changing regularly in each nation.
Check these websites for the most up to date information:
- Government advice on visits in and out of supported living settings
- England – Guidance on care home visiting and visits out of care homes
- Wales – Visits to care homes: guidance
- Scotland – Coronavirus (COVID-19): adult care homes guidance
- Northern Ireland – COVID-19: Regional Principles for Visiting in Care Settings in Northern Ireland
Face coverings are compulsory on public transport, in hospitals and GP surgeries, and in most indoor venues.
Understanding and tolerating face coverings
Information from the Challenging Behaviour Foundation (CBF) on helping someone who has severe learning disabilities to tolerate seeing and using a face covering: Coronavirus (COVID-19): People with severe learning disabilities and facemasks
Some siblings may be worried their disabled brother or sister will be required to wear a face covering and that they may not tolerate it.
From gov.uk website:
“Legitimate reasons not to wear a face covering
You also do not need to wear a face covering if you have a legitimate reason not to. This includes:
- if you have a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means you cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering
- if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause you severe distress
- if you are travelling with, or providing help to, someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
- if you are travelling to avoid injury or escape the risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
- if you need to remove it during your journey to avoid harm or injury or the risk of harm or injury to yourself or others
- if you need to eat, drink, or take medication on public transport
- if you are asked to remove your face covering by a police officer or other official, for example to check your railcard
- in other situations set out in further government face covering guidance“
Exemption cards and lanyards
If your disabled brother or sister is exempt from wearing a face covering:
- You can download an ‘exemption from face covering’ card that can be shown on a mobile mobile phone or that can be printed to carry on you
- You can also download optional badges/lanyards to promote ongoing social distancing
- Information cards from CBF that can be printed and shown, explaining that someone has a severe learning disability and cannot wear a face covering: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Severe Learning Disability Information Cards
- Some people with hidden disabilities prefer to wear a sunflower lanyard to indicate they are unable to wear a face covering
It is not compulsory to carry an exemption card or wear a lanyard.
This page was last updated: 20th April 2021
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