Face Covering Exemptions


Page last updated Monday 26 July 2021, 12:19

Please be considerate of others and wear a face coving if you can.

With the easing of restrictions from Monday 19 July 2021, in England it will no longer be a requirement of the law to wear a face covering. However train operators will be implementing the government’s new guidance and at a minimum expecting customers to wear a face covering in crowded spaces, out of respect for others, so please bring one to wear.

In Scotland, Wales and on Transport for London managed services (including London Overground and TfL Rail which are part of the National Rail network) it remains mandatory to wear a face covering throughout your journey on stations and on trains, unless you are exempt. 

If you are getting on a bus, tube, train or other service run by TfL, you must wear a face covering, unless exempt


However, it is recognised that not everyone will be able to wear a face covering and following the government guidance there are exemptions from the requirement to wear a face covering on public transport services for:

  • Children under the age of 11
  • Employees of, or persons providing agreed services to, TfL
  • Police constables (including British Transport Police) officers acting in the course of their duty
  • Members or employees of the emergency services responding to an emergency

You also do not need to wear a face covering if you have a good reason not to. This includes:

  • Where a person cannot put on, wear, or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment or disability (within the meaning of section 6 of the Equality Act 2010), or without severe distress
  • Where a person is providing a lip-reading (or BSL) service to the person they are travelling with
  • Where a person removes their face covering to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to themselves or others
  • Where a person is travelling to avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm, and does not have a face covering with them
  • If it is reasonably necessary for a person to eat, drink or take medication, and the person removes their face covering to eat, drink or take medication
  • Where a person is required to remove the face covering by a police constable (including a British Transport Police officer) or another authorised person

Supporting customers who are exempt

There is no formal requirement for anyone who is exempt to have to prove that that is the case and none of the tools outlined below will ask for medical details relating to your exempt status when applying.

The following are not a prerequisite for travel without a face covering, but we understand that some customers would feel more comfortable using one of the following tools or schemes in relation to their exempt status.  Our staff are briefed on these and the detailed exemption criteria.


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Last updated:   26 July 2021