Wearing face coverings helps stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep you and others safe.

A face covering helps stop droplets spreading when someone speaks, laughs, coughs or sneezes. This includes someone who has COVID-19 but feels well or has no obvious symptoms.

Most people do not need medical masks and can use other face coverings. Those who need face coverings or medical masks at work will be told by their employer.

If you do not have a face covering, you don’t need to rush out and buy one. You can make one, or use a bandana, scarf or t-shirt

Face coverings at Alert level 2

You may consider wearing a face covering when you cannot maintain physical distance from people you don’t know such as at the supermarket.

Face coverings should also be worn by most people on public transport and aircraft. That includes trains, buses, and ferries. It also includes the drivers of small passenger vehicles such as taxis and Uber.

They don’t need to be worn:

  • By people with a disability or physical or mental health condition that makes covering their face difficult.
  • By children under 12
  • On school buses
  • By Passengers of small passenger vehicles, such as taxis and Uber.
  • On charter or group tours
  • On interisland ferries
  • On private flights
  • By private contractors of air services such as top-dressers
  • In circumstances such as in an emergency or when people need to prove their identity or communicate with someone who is deaf.

If one of these reasons applies to you, you do not need to show a medical certificate or other documentation to prove why you are not wearing a face covering.

You will not be stopped from travelling on public transport.

It’s important to remember that some people will have legitimate reasons, such as a health issue, for not wearing a face covering. There is no need to call the Police or alert a driver or conductor if you notice someone who isn’t wearing a face covering.

We know the vast majority of people who are able to wear a face covering will help stop the spread and wear one when they need to.

If people are deliberately breaking the rules by not wearing a face covering on public transport without a legitimate reason, they can face a $300 infringement, or a court-imposed fine of up to $1,000.

How to put on a face covering

  1. Check your face covering. Make sure it is:
    – clean
    – dry
    – not damaged.
  2. Clean your hands. Before you put on your face covering, clean and dry your hands. Use either:
    – soap and water
    – hand sanitiser (at least 60% alcohol).
  3. Put on your face covering. Place the face covering over your nose and mouth, then secure it with ties or ear loops. The face covering should:
    – fully cover your nose, mouth and chin
    – fit comfortably, but securely, against the side of your face
    – allow you to breathe easily.
  4. Clean your hands again. Use either:
    – soap and water
    – hand sanitiser (at least 60% alcohol).

While wearing a face covering

When wearing a face covering you should:

  • avoid touching the front of your face covering
  • avoid touching your face
  • avoid moving your face covering, including pulling it down below your chin
  • replace the face covering if it becomes damp, damaged or dirty.

How to remove a face covering

  1. Clean your hands. Clean and dry your hands. Use either:
    – soap and water
    – hand sanitiser (at least 60% alcohol).
  2. Remove your face covering. Take your face covering off from behind and pull it away from your face. Use the loops or untie it. Do not touch the front of the face covering, and be careful not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  3. Clean or dispose of your face covering.
    – Clean cloth face coverings by washing them in a washing machine with detergent at 60 degrees Celsius. Dry the face covering completely before you use it again. Do not use a damp face covering.
    – Dispose of single-use face coverings. Put it in a rubbish bin with a closed lid, or in a sealed bag and throw it out. Do not re-use or try to disinfect single-use face coverings.
  4. Clean your hands again. Use either:
    – soap and water
    – hand sanitiser (at least 60% alcohol)