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The law unpinning the requirement for Face Coverings-


The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 4) Regulations 2020. Passed on 18th June 2020


Set out the Requirement to wear a face covering on public transport

Also set out the defence to a charge of committing an offence under the regulation with the definition of “a reasonable excuse”


Regulation 8(4)


In relation to the wearing of a face covering, a reasonable excuse includes—

  1. to seek medical assistance,


  1. to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person, including to provide emergency assistance,


  1. to avoid injury, illness or to escape a risk of harm,


  1. where the person cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering—


(i)                  because of any physical or mental illness or impairment or disability (within the meaning of section 6 of the Equality Act 2010(4)),


(ii)                without severe distress,


  1. to communicate with a person who has difficulties communicating (in relation to speech, language or otherwise),


  1. to eat or drink where reasonably necessary,


  1. to take medication,


  1. to remove a face covering temporarily to comply with a request by a relevant person or another person acting in the course of their duties, and for the purposes of this sub-paragraph “relevant person” has the meaning given by regulation  7(12).


The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 7) Regulations 2020. Passed on 9th July 2020


Sets out the Requirement to wear a face covering in a shop


It refers to Regulation 8(4) in relation to “a reasonable excuse” as above.


Therefore, there is no legal requirement nor any expectation that individuals show any documentation if challenged. It is a matter for the police and the courts to interpret and to enforce the Regulations.


Patient Advice & Support

Patient Advice and Support Service The Patient Advice and Support Service (PASS) is delivered by the Scottish Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) Service. The service is independent and provides free, confidential information, advice and support to anyone who uses the NHS in Scotland. It aims to support patients, their carers and families in their dealings with the NHS and in other matters affecting their health.

The service promotes an awareness and understanding of the rights and responsibilities of patients. It also advises and supports people who wish to give feedback, make comments, raise concerns or make a complaint about treatment and care provided by the NHS in Scotland.

The Patient Advice and Support Service will: 

  • Help clients understand their rights and responsibilities as patients
  • Provide information, advice and support for those wishing to give feedback or comments, raise concerns or make complaints about health care delivered by NHS Scotland.
  • Ensure clients feel listened to, supported, and respected when raising concerns about difficult experiences
  • Work with the NHS to use feedback to improve NHS service provision.

The Patient Advice and Support Service also provides general advice and help on a range of issues, such as housing, employment, benefits or money worries. Support with these issues can have a positive impact on the health of clients. Clients can also access information and advice on how to access health and community services that offer additional support with health care needs. The service is a valuable resource for frontline NHS staff because it offers a wide range of support for patients in relation to health and health care.

How to contact the Patient Advice and Support Service

The Patient Advice and Support Service can be accessed through any Scottish citizens advice bureau.  You can find your local bureau by using the search facility at the top of this page. There is more information about the service at 

Related publications: 

pdfPatient Advice and Support Service (PASS) leaflet

pdf Patient Advice and Support Service briefing sheet

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