TFL face covering exemption

Since 15 June it has been mandatory for passengers over the age of 11 to wear face coverings on public transport in London, as well as in private hire vehicles.

This has resulted in some patients approaching GP practices asking for doctor’s notes to exempt them from the requirement on health grounds, for example if they have asthma. These patients do not need a note from their GP, they should print out the exemption card provided below.

TFL have listed a number of ‘reasonable excuses’ for not wearing a face covering, specifically:

  • 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 service to a 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 and drink, and the person removes their face covering to eat or drink.
  • Where a person is required to remove the face covering by a police constable (including a British Transport Police officer) or another authorised person.

Print at home face coverings exemption card

TFL have instructed passengers who believe they are exempt from wearing a face covering for a reason on the above list, to print out one of these exemption cards and display it on their clothing or possibly on a lanyard. It is also acceptable to display it on a mobile phone if you do not have a printer.

Passengers with neither a smartphone or printer should call TFL on 0343 222 1234 and arrange to have a card printed and sent to them.

Download exemption card as JPG.

Download exemption card as PDF.

Read the full TFL guidance.