According to official government guidance, the following are exempt from wearing face masks/coverings:
A child under the age of 11.
An employee of the transport operator, when they are acting in the course of their employment.
Any other person providing services to the transport operator, under arrangements made with the transport operator, who is providing those services.
A constable or police community support officer acting in the course of their duty.
An emergency responder, such as a paramedic or fire officer, acting in the course of their duty.
An official, for example, a border force officer, acting in the course of their duties.
If you are allocated a cabin, berth or other similar accommodation, at any time when you are in that accommodation, either alone, or only with members of your own household or a linked household.
If you are onboard public transport but remain in your private vehicle, eg: on a car ferry.
Now, government health officials have released a number of official exemption cards that can be shown by the above upon any challenging of why they are not wearing a face covering whilst in enclosed public spaces.
The standard exemption card template says – “I am exempt from wearing a face covering” – and can be worn by those exempt as a badge, or shown on their phone, and another template – designed to help lip-readers who are allowed to ask people to remove their face covering under the law – says “Please remove your face covering so I can understand you better”.
The release of the exemption cards comes after a number of unofficial copies were seen circulating online, or had been issued out by charities over recent weeks.
The government has faced criticism for failing to produce an official card prior to this release.
James Taylor, of disability charity Scope, stated yesterday that: “in recent weeks, we’ve heard from disabled people who’ve been challenged over not wearing a face covering while using public transport, causing much distress and anxiety. The government must make it really clear to everyone that disabled people who cannot safely wear face coverings are exempt.”
“Disabled people and their needs have been routinely forgotten throughout this crisis [and] if disabled people’s needs are ignored, society risks turning the clock back on equality.”
It has also been confirmed that whilst official exemption cards have now been released, those that are exempt from wearing a face covering are not required to carry the card with them at all times. If they chose not to carry it though, this could mean they face the same penalty charges if challenged on the matter.
For further information and guidance amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, do refer to official sources via gov.uk/coronavirus.
James Corden is trending as football fans joke loser of England vs USA ‘has to keep him’
Twitter users might have noticed that James Corden is trending again – and it’s not because it’s nearly Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special season.
The reason the British actor, comedian and presenter is trending is much funnier.
Once the World Cup games were matched up and we realised England and USA would face off in the group stages, people started joking that they would use Corden as a punishment for losing.
It’s become an ongoing joke that the loser of tonight’s World Cup match will ‘have to keep James Corden’.
And nobody seems to want that.
Corden fell out of favour last month when New York restaurant Balthazar called him ‘a tiny Cretin of a man’ and said that he abused their staff on his visit.
He was banned, then apologised, and now all seems to be forgiven.
But the internet does not forgive so easily.
At the time of writing, England vs USA is drawn 0-0.
Here are some of the tweets that sum up why James Corden is trending tonight:
You can buy half Christmas trees so you don’t have to decorate the full thing
December is nearly ready for rolling around once again.
It’s time to reach out the decorations out and get into the festive spirit, but for those who’d consider themselves a bit lazy, there’s an invention that could be a life saver, and it’s quite honestly genius.
You can now buy ‘half Christmas trees’ – otherwise known as or ‘against the wall Christmas trees’.
Unless your tree’s going to placed in front of a street-facing window for rafts of passers-by to see on a daily basis, it can be really tempting to just not decorate the back of it at all, right? The faff off trying to evenly-distribute strings of lights, tinsel and baubles around a full tree is often a lot more trouble than it’s worth, especially when it’s not going to be properly seen anyway.
Some would probably say it’s pointless, and it’s this thought that has presumably prompted companies to start selling these ‘half Christmas trees’.
If you’re wondering what a ‘half Christmas tree’ is, it’s basically exactly as it sounds – half a tree.
Half Christmas trees – which are also a great option for those with slightly less space to dedicate to seasonal decorations – are available in various places, and for all manner of budgets, so it should be fairly easy to get your hands on one this festive season.
According to the product description on the Very website: “This may look like a regular Christmas tree, but it’s been cleverly designed so that one side is completely flat, so no matter how limited your space might be, you and your family can still enjoy the magic of having a tree in your home,”
“Standing an impressive 6ft tall and featuring 511 tips for a lush look, you can stand it flat against the wall to save on valuable floor space,
“It also means you don’t have to worry about any of your favourite decorations being out of sight at the back”.
If you’re looking for something a little cheaper though, then there’s plenty of different options available on eBay and Amazon too, and our pick for this would be the vidaXL Artificial Half Christmas Tree – which is currently being sold on eBay by a number of different sellers for prices starting at £24.