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Councillor raises concern over non-face mask abuse

Created on 28/10/2020 @ 22:13
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Kindness and compassion is needed for people who have been abused or bullied for not wearing face coverings when they are exceptions to the rule, says Newtown county councillor Joy Jones.

Wearing face coverings in public and some private areas became compulsory in Wales in September as part of the ongoing effort to stop the spread of coronavirus.

But one of the sad side effects of this are people who have medical reasons and cannot wear such coverings and have being abused in person or on social media.

Powys County Council’s Anti-Poverty Champion, Cllr Joy Jones, is highlighting the issue after speaking speaking to people who have received abuse.

Cllr Jones said: “The government has given exemptions to people unable to wear masks.

“Just because someone looks fine, doesn’t mean they don’t have reasons why they are unable to wear something over their face.

“In some cases wearing face coverings can leave people feeling extremely uncomfortable or ill.

“Many people suffer from conditions  and should be able to go about their business using social distancing, without dirty looks, spiteful remarks and interrogation.”

Cllr Jones added: “We should remember that many people are still feeling very scared and struggling with even getting through each day.

“So lets show kindness, compassion and a little understanding as you never know when you will need kindness shown to ourselves or our loved ones.”

Cllr Jones has discussed the issue with Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn.

Mr Llywelyn, said:  “I do feel that there is tension in our communities at the moment, people have less patience towards others.

“Mask wearing is an example of this, we don’t know what other people are going through or the problems they may be facing.

“We need to be sensible and we need to respect the rules and respect each other.”

On October 26 the Welsh Government updated it’s advice on face coverings

There is an exemption for children under the age of 11.

They also advise that people with a “reasonable excuse” not to wear a face covering if:

You are not able to put on or to wear a face covering because of a physical or mental illness, or because of a disability or impairment,
You are accompanying somebody who relies on lip reading where they need to communicate,
You are escaping from a threat or danger,r and don’t have a face covering.
There are “exemption cards” that can be downloaded and printed and can be shown if needed.

The Welsh Government said: “Carrying an exemption card is a personal choice and is not necessary in law."


By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy reporting Service




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