Lipreading with facemasks
Thanks to lobbying of the UK government, if you are travelling with, or providing assistance to, someone who relies on lipreading or facial expressions to communicate, you are not required by law to wear a face covering.
You will not be acting illegally or face a penalty if you remove your face covering to communicate with someone who is deaf or has hearing loss and needs to see your face to communicate with you. You may want to maintain social distance while doing so.
These tips are particularly important when you are speaking to someone whilst wearing a mask or face covering:
• Make sure you are facing the person you are talking to and speak clearly – avoid shouting, speaking too fast or unnecessarily slow
• If someone does not understand you, repeat what you said or phrase it differently, use plain language
• If you are in a noisy place, move to a quieter area if possible
• Use simple gestures such as pointing or waving to get someone’s attention
• Write things down – use pen on paper, text on device screens, or whiteboards
• If they ask you to, speak to a relative or friend
Some useful resources are: