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What to do if you cannot wear a face mask

Find out how you can apply for a Communication Card if you are unable to wear a face mask. 

About Communication Cards 

We know face masks are unsuitable for some people due to disabilities or health conditions. 

It is not always obvious why a face mask may be unsuitable for someone. For example, someone may have been the victim of a crime, or might suffer from a mental illness or condition that is not apparent to the outside observer. 

There is no legal requirement to carry a Communication Card, though many choose to do so. 

Advice for people who are unable to wear a face mask 

Getting a Communication Card 

A system has been developed by the Ministry of Health where you can apply for a Communication Card. Follow the link below for information on how you can get one.  

Apply for a communication card 

When to use your Communication Card 

It’s important to be mindful of why business owners or employees may approach you to ask whether you are able to wear a face mask. They will likely be doing so out of an interest in making other customers feel safe, or because their business requires it. 

While it is inappropriate for a business owner or employee to enquire about the nature of your disability or condition, it is reasonable for them to ask if there is a reason why you are not wearing a face mask. 

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