Watch NZSL video on exemption cards.

It is now mandatory to wear face masks/coverings on public transport, on flights, and if you are a customer or an employee involving customer contact such as at a supermarket, pharmacy or petrol station.

If you have a disability or health condition and you can’t wear a face covering safely or comfortably, you are exempt from wearing one.

Some people may feel more comfortable showing something official that says they don’t have to wear a face covering, so the Ministry of Health has designed an exemption card that people can use.

If anyone asks why you are not wearing a face covering, you can show them the card. You don’t need to show this card to public transport operators like bus drivers, but you can if you want to.  

This card has been developed by the Ministry of Health specifically for those who cannot wear face coverings safely or comfortably due to a disability or health condition. The use of this card is self-regulated and decided upon by the individual. However, the Ministry of Health encourage people to do the right thing and only use this Exemption Card if you need to.

If you have a disability or health condition and you can’t wear a face covering safely or comfortably and would like an exemption card sent to you, please email

The exemption card is available as PDF and jpeg versions which can be printed in credit card size, A5 or A4, or simply downloaded onto your phone. There is also a physical wallet-sized version of the card. If you would like the physical version sent to you, please let Disabled Persons Assembly NZ (DPA) know your postal address.

For people who are exempt from wearing a face mask for legitimate reasons, the Ministry of Health has a webpage where they can find out more, including how to apply for a face mask communication card here.

Last updated 12 April 2022.