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People with asthma ‘don’t need’ to wear masks



Asthma UK has highlighted that people with respiratory conditions do not need to wear face masks if they are finding it hard to breathe.

However, if people with asthma are comfortable with wearing a face covering, they should use a cloth or home-made one, not a medical-type mask, the charity added.

The advice comes following the ruling that face coverings will be mandatory in shops in England from tomorrow – and matches government guidance that people with respiratory conditions do not need to wear them.

Head of health advice at Asthma UK Jessica Kirby said: ‘For some people with asthma, wearing a face covering might not be easy. It could make it feel harder to breathe.’

In further online advice, Asthma UK has also recommended trying a face covering out at home or on a short walk, and that people should wear it if they feel fine.

The charity has also offered people a downloadable face covering exemption card, which they can use to explain why they are not wearing a face covering, should they be unable to.

Children under the age of 11 are also exempt from wearing face coverings in shops, as well as certain workers – such as emergency responders and policy – when acting in the course of their duty.  

The Government has also said anybody who is not able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness, impairment or disability is exempt.

In addition, you do not have to wear a face covering if putting on, wearing or removing one will cause you severe distress, they said.

Those able to wear a face mask who do not comply with the new ruling potentially face a £100 fine.

Read more: Staying safe with asthma amid the coronavirus pandemic