THERE needs to be more communications on how important it is for people to wear face coverings - Council bosses were told.

The issue of face masks came up during a meeting of Bradford Council's Health and Social Care Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday.

Committee member Sue Crowe, who works with disabled people and is the editor of Bradford talking Media, pointed out that she had seen numerous posts on social media by people listing numerous exemptions to the rule.

Many of these supposed exemptions were "not true" - she said, and people needed to be better informed about the importance of wearing masks.

As of today, face coverings will be mandatory in shops across the country.

At the meeting, which was held virtually, Mrs Crowe said: "The problem is lots of people seem to be Tweeting and posting on social media saying that if you are disabled or on the Autistic spectrum you don't have to wear a face covering.

Shoppers 'strongly encouraged' to wear face masks around all The Broadway

"That's not true. As a Council we should be encouraging anyone and everyone and everyone who can wear a mask to wear one."

She said that despite lengthy lists of exemptions being shared on social media, the advice was for only people with severe medical issues to be exempt.

She added: "It wasn't easy to find, but on the Government website it says you don't have to wear one if it is too distressing, if you have severe asthma and can't breath wearing one or if it will trigger too much emotional stress."

Bev Maybury, Strategic Director for Health and Wellbeing, said: "I do agree, people should wear masks as much as possible.

"I know the science isn't conclusive but it will help reduce any impact as lockdown is eased."

Official Government advice says the following people are exempt from wearing a mask 

  • young children under the age of 11
  • people not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
  • if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause them severe distress
  • if they are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
  • to avoid harm or injury, or the risk of harm or injury, to yourself or others
  • to avoid injury, or to escape a risk of harm
  • if a police officer or other official requests them remove their face covering