Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel have produced a free card to help passengers who are exempt from wearing a face covering.
The bus operators have created cards that state ‘please be supportive. I’m exempt from wearing a face covering’ to help those passengers who cannot wear one.
The government’s list of exemptions include disabled people, children under 11 and people with certain health conditions. The cards are available to print off or download via the company’s website and customers can show them on smart phones, or as a printed version.
Bus drivers have been politely offering customers who are not exempt guidance as to why they should wear a face covering. Compliance has improved since face coverings became mandatory in shops and other venues and there has been around 90% compliance from passengers who wear a face covering.
Phil Southall, Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel Managing Director said: “We know that some passengers who are exempt from wearing a face covering may feel anxious about the possible reaction from other customers because they are not wearing one. This card is to help those people feel more comfortable. I also appeal to passengers to show kindness and respect towards those who cannot wear a face covering, while remembering that not all disabilities are visible.
“A face covering exemption card is a personal choice and this card is definitely not something people have to carry by law. Our drivers will not ask you to prove you are exempt from wearing a face covering. It is simply there to help you and customers have been feeding back that the cards are really helpful.
“I’m pleased to report on the whole passengers have embraced wearing face coverings when boarding and for their entire journey. It is an important way to help keep everyone safe alongside being a legal requirement.”
You can print your exemption card from the Oxford Bus Company or Thames Travel website, download the file to your phone, or screen shot it and show it to the driver when you board the bus.
To apply or to download an exemption card, go to the following websites: