New mask exemption card being introduced from the end of May.

People who have genuine reasons for not being able to wear a face mask can access a new personalised exemption card from the end of May.

The new card issued by the Ministry of Health will provide conclusive proof of a person’s exempt status and will have a legal status that neither the old exemption card nor the interim communications card have, though those cards can still be used.

Business owners want greater assurance that people not wearing face masks are legitimately entitled to not wear one. Businesses want to protect other customers and their staff from catching COVID 19, and to comply with the Government’s COVID 19 public health rules.

The new process comes as a result of extensive consultation with stakeholders across the disability and business sectors.

From the end of May, people can apply for a card through the Ministry of Health website. A card can be issued to them digitally or can be sent physically by post. Exemption Cards will be issued for free, and do not expire.

Read the mask exemption FAQ’S