18 October 2020

The Down News reported this story on, yesterday 17th October, and Disability Action were asked to comment.

“Confused, angry and embarrassed” is how one local man has described his personal experience of being refused entry to his GP surgery in Newcastle for not complying with their mask-wearing policy writes Laura Barr.

The man who wishes to remain anonymous told Down News that due to health reasons he believes he should be exempt from wearing a mask, a fact that his own Doctor is aware of but he was still refused entry to the surgery building.

Read the full story in the Down News

Down News contacted Disability Action NI outlining the ordeal the man in our story experienced.

Orla McCann from Disability Action commented:

Disability Action encourages everyone who can wear a face mask to do so to protect themselves, their families and others. We as a society, however, need to recognise that for some disabled people to wear a face covering could cause genuine risk to their individual health and safety. The Government Guidance on this has always been clear that there are exemptions to this regulation. Disabled people should not be made to fear intimidation or discrimination, nor should someone feel the need to disclose their personal circumstances or to carry documentation to prove that they are exempt. There are options available for those who would prefer to carry some form of an exemption notice, notably developed by disability organisations. 

A simple approach to this is for everyone to be kind to each other.

Please respect those who can’t wear a face covering - NI Direct