The exemption of wearing a face covering for people with autism is causing confusion and anxiety for many. Thankfully, the government have now released a range of cards which can be either printed out and shown in shops, or saved onto your mobile phone so you can show to anyone, if you are questioned about not wearing a mask.

Do I Have To Wear a Face Mask?

We have produced an easy read guide to help create some clarity around the question of 'do i have to wear a face mask?' Most people have to wear a face mask or covering on public transport and in shops. However, children under 11, people with disabilities and/or autism do not need to wear one. Download our easy read guide.

Printed Cards

The version you can print off and take with you can be found here:

Mobile Cards

The version to download onto your mobile phone can be found here:


Leeds Autism AIM

Leeds Autism AIM have produced a face covering exemption card which you can also pint off or show on your mobile phone. Find more information on their website: 

What If I Choose To Wear A Face Covering?

If you are autistic and want to wear a face covering, that is fine. You can buy face masks online and from most shops, including supermarkets. Some supermarkets, including Asda and Tesco, have said they will sell masks at the door.

You can also make your own face covering using household items such as a tea towel, and you don’t need to do any sewing.

There is a video here which shows you how to do it:

Public Transport

Most public transport companies have produced their own Journey Assistance Cards which can be downloaded from their websites. You can find the links below to each company.

First Group

The First Group asks passengers to be prepared to inform the driver and show an Extra help to travel card (Journey assistance card). You can find these cards on the website link below or you can download here.

Arriva Leeds

Arriva Leeds also have downloadable and printable Journey Assistance Cards which you can download here. For further information on assistance cards visit

Northern Rail

Assistance cards can be accessed and printed from the link below or you can download here. Northern Rail also state that in their instance the assistance card is for a passenger’s own peace of mind and is by no means a requirement of travel.

Government Guidance

To see the full government guidance on face covering exemptions, which includes people with 

  • certain health conditions
  • a disability
  • autism
  • children under the age of 11

Follow this link

Discover more information and advice in the LAS Covid-19 Resources Hub