Brighton & Hove and Metrobus produce free face covering exemption card

Brighton & Hove and Metrobus have produced a free card to help passengers who are exempt from wearing a face covering.


The company has adapted its yellow Helping Hand card to read ‘please be supportive. I’m exempt from wearing a face covering’ to help those passengers who cannot wear one.

The government’s list of exemptions include disabled people, children under 11 and people with certain health conditions. For detailed guidance on wearing a face covering on the bus, please click here.

The company’s Bus Supervisor Team is hopping on and off buses and handing out free Helping Hand exemption cards, along with face coverings for other passengers. They are also politely explaining to customers who are not exempt why they should wear a face covering. The team has estimated there has been around 90% compliance from passengers who can wear a face covering.

Brighton & Hove and Metrobus’ Managing Director Martin Harris said he hoped the card would prove useful for people who were exempt from wearing a face covering.

“We know that some passengers who are exempt from wearing a face covering may feel anxious about the possible reaction from other people because they are not wearing one. This card is to help those people feel more comfortable. I also appeal to passengers to show kindness and respect towards those who cannot wear a face covering, while remembering that not all disabilities are visible.

“I must stress, a face covering exemption card is a personal choice and this card is definitely not something people have to carry by law. Our drivers and Bus Supervisor Team will not ask you to prove you are exempt from wearing a face covering. It is simply there to help you, if you would like one.

“It is crucial that passengers who can wear a face covering wear one when boarding and for their entire journey. It is one of the most important ways to help keep everyone safe, as well as being a legal requirement.”

The bus company’s Customer Service Advisor Mark Evans, who produces the exemption cards, said: “Our customers have been telling me that these cards are particularly helpful to show other passengers on board the bus. I’ve had many customers thanking me. No one has to prove they are exempt but the card gives users the option of discretely sharing, if they wish to do so.”

Mark said he had produced thousands of cards so far and it was still in high demand since face coverings became compulsory on public transport on 15 June.

He said colleagues were working through card applications as quickly as possible.

If you would prefer not to wait, you can print your own from the bus company’s website, download the file to your phone, or screen shot it and show it to the driver when you board the bus. You may also still apply for a Helping Hand card as well but it may take longer to arrive.

To apply or to download a Helping Hand exemption card:

Brighton & Hove Buses: https://www.buses.co.uk/helpinghand

Metrobus: https://www.metrobus.co.uk/helping-hand-scheme/