A Pictorial Guide to Those Exempt from Wearing a Facemask

Just to clear up confusion prior to mandatory face covering in the UK from July 24th, we’ve pictorially listed below those undoubtedly exempt from wearing a mask. Everyone else should either wear one when shopping, or apply to the Hidden Disabilities charity for a Face Covering Exempt card for 55p, available here.

Exemption cases include:

young children under the age of 11.

not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability.

if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress.

if you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate

to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others

to avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you

to eat or drink, but only if you need to

to take medication

if a police officer or other official requests you remove your face covering

There are also scenarios when you are permitted to remove a face covering when asked:

If asked to do so by shop staff for the purpose of age identification.

If speaking with people who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound. Some may ask you, either verbally or in writing, to remove a covering to help with communication.

And, if you are:

Big Hero 6

With only a line across his eyes as facial features, this friendly Disney robot is so obviously exempt. Even if he was to have a mouth and nose, he’s a robot anyway, so there.


Alan Moore’s mysteriously ruthless detective Watchman, Rorschach may have been a bit of a mentalist, but, as it turns out, he was way ahead of us all in wearing a facemask. Although, self-morphing inkblots on your mask are not compulsory in the UK, yet. Rorschach never took off his mask until he was forced to do so. Be like Rorschach.

Hello Kitty

No milk for Hello Kitty, this manga cutie is one feline without a mouth and only a button nose; no need for a facemask. If you’ve already bought a facemask and wake up on the morning of the 24th July realising you are, in fact, Hello Kitty, perhaps you could make it into a cute hair bow.

The Silence

Steve Moffat’s creepy alien religious order, The Silence maybe the scariest Dr Who monsters ever. However, without a mouth or nose anyone converted to the order are exempt too. Even if they weren’t, are you going to pull one up on it in the queue for Lidl? No, I thought not; just take a photo and inform the Facebook police.

Marvin the Martian

Mars has an excellent Covid19 infection R-rating of zero, so even if this lovable Loony Tunes alien had a mouth and nose, he’d still be exempt. Interesting to note, he first appeared in a Buggs Bunny cartoon in 1948, and there’s no telling baby boomers anyway.

Optimus Prime

He may be an extra-terrestrial synergistic blend of biological evolution and technological engineering, but you have to hand it to the leader of the Autobots, he’s been covering his mouth and nose with a metallic plate at least since their awakening 1985, if not the pre-historic era when they first crash landed on Earth. Boris Johnson himself stated that, with the exception of Lightning McQueen, vehicles do not have to wear a facemask, even if they do turn into robots. It was in fact, the only comprehendible statement he’s made on the matter to date.


If, like Neo, you find you are but a digital version of yourself trapped in a virtual reality world created by machines to use humans as fuel, you are exempt from wearing a facemask as the world is not really real at all, ergo neither is the virus anything more than malware and nothing good scan with Norton won’t fix. This applies even if Agent Smith doesn’t try to silence you by temporarily sealing up your mouth. Anyone else with an alternative conspiracy theory should check with their online geek blogger before shopping without a facemask.

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