An open letter to airline companies
We’ve written an open letter to the airline companies in the UK, asking them to inform staff and passengers that wearing a face covering might be hard for some people with a lung condition.
As COVID-19 restrictions ease and people start thinking ahead to the prospect of travelling for their holidays, we’ve written to airline companies across the UK, asking if they can help us spread the word to their staff and customers that some people are unable to wear face coverings due to having a lung condition and that they should not be required to prove why they may not be able to wear one.
We have seen that lots of airline companies are strengthening their requirements for passengers to wear a face covering when travelling. It is great that this includes exemptions for people who cannot wear one for medical reasons, which includes some people who have a lung condition such as asthma and COPD and can find that wearing a face covering makes it very difficult for them to breathe.
It is important that everyone understands people in this position are exempt from wearing a face covering and under UK guidance are not required to show proof of this through a doctor’s letter or medical certificate. There is no system in place through which doctors would be able to issue a confirmation of exemption.
People with lung conditions are telling us that they are worried about being challenged in public and have reported feeling stigma around not wearing a face covering. We don’t want people with respiratory disease to feel anxious or discriminated against.
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