Assurances Provided on Face Covering Exemptions for Public Transport

Ruth Maguire MSP has welcomed reassurances of support from the Scottish Government for people with disabilities which exempt them from wearing face coverings on public transport.

Speaking today at Portfolio Questions, the SNP MSP for Cunninghame South highlighted that not every disability which gives people a valid exemption is visible and asked what support is being provided to people living with these conditions.

The Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson said: “I do recognise that there are situations where a person is unable to wear a face mask for a variety of different reasons.

“As a government, we have an exemption card which has been developed. They can use that at any point when it may be queried as to why they may not be wearing a face covering.

“I also recognise that there are other forms of exemption cards which are available. All of which are valid for others to make use of. I would certainly wish to encourage those who don’t have the ability to wear a face mask to make sure that they can carry one of these cards.”

Providing further comment, Ms Maguire said: “I’m glad to have reassurance from the Transport Secretary on behalf of people who have a valid reason to not wear a face covering who may be too anxious to use public transport.

“If you have a disability or condition which isn’t immediately visible and feel like you need extra assurance that you are within your rights to use the bus or a train, please be sure to obtain an exemption card.

“We’re all doing our best to navigate through this situation. I’d again like to urge people to be mindful of those who are not able to wear masks and not assume deliberate rule breaking on their part.”

The Scottish Government face covering exemption card can be requested online at or via a free helpline on 0800 121 6240.

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