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Mandatory face masks

Updates 2 January 2022

From 1am AEST Sunday 2 January masks must be worn indoors everywhere in Queensland, except in your own home or accommodation, and where it is unsafe, such as while doing strenuous exercise.

Overview

From Sunday 2 January 2022, you must wear a mask indoors everywhere in Queensland. This includes:

  • all indoor workplaces
  • public transport and rideshare
  • supermarkets and retail shops
  • hospitality venues including pubs, clubs and cafes
  • cinemas and theatres
  • indoor stadium, sports arena or sports centre
  • gyms and sport activities
  • vulnerable settings like hospitals and aged care
  • schools, childcare and other education facilities
  • airports and on planes

You do not need to wear a mask outdoors if you can remain 1.5 metres away from others that are not members of your household.

Children under 12 years and people affected by a medical condition or disability do not lawfully have to wear a face mask. See exceptions from wearing face masks.

Outdoors

You are not required to wear a mask outdoors unless you can’t maintain 1.5m physical distance from other people.

Indoor workplaces

Masks must be worn at indoor workplaces such as offices unless unsafe to do so.

Public transport

Masks must be worn on public transport, including platforms and ferry terminals.

Private vehicles

You are not required to wear a mask in your car if you are driving alone or with members from your household.

Masks must be worn by the driver and passenger/s if anyone is not a member of the same household.

Taxis and rideshares

Masks must be worn in taxis and rideshares, including ranks and designated pick-up areas.

Masks must be worn at all times by both driver and passenger, unless the driver is alone in the vehicle.

Indoor retail

Masks must be worn at all times in shopping centres, supermarkets, retail outlets and shops. There are exceptions for photo sessions.

Hospitality venues

Masks must be worn at all times in hospitality venues except when seated. This includes pubs, clubs, restaurants, cafes, food courts and other venues where a person buys and consumes food, drinks and ready to eat meals.

Indoor cinemas and theatres

Masks must be worn at all times, such as when entering and exiting and when seated. Persons are allowed to remove their masks when eating or drinking during the movie or in other areas of the cinema.

Indoor stadium, sports arena or sports centre

Masks must be worn at all times, including standing as a spectator, unless seated to watch as a spectator.

Gyms and sport activities

Masks must be worn when entering or leaving the facilities and can only be removed during strenuous exercise.

Vulnerable settings

Masks must be worn at all times by healthcare workers and visitors in hospitals, healthcare settings, residential aged care facilities, disability accommodations, and prisons.

Queensland airports

You must wear a face mask and wear it in all indoor areas of a Queensland airport as well as outdoor passenger transport and passenger waiting areas, such as carparks and taxi ranks.

Face masks do not need to be worn in outdoor areas of an airport unless you are in a passenger transport or passenger waiting area.

Air crew and airport workers who are not interacting directly with passengers do not need to wear a face mask.

Domestic commercial flights

You must wear a face mask at all times if you are on a domestic commercial flight while the plane is at a Queensland airport or in Queensland airspace.

Please note other states have similar rules in place regarding the wearing of face masks on planes and in airports.

Transport drivers

All transport drivers transporting people required to quarantine to or from government nominated quarantine must have a transport plan (DOCX) and be endorsed by the Department of Transport and Main Roads. This plan outlines personal protective equipment requirements.

Quarantined persons

If you are required to quarantine, you must wear a face mask at all times while travelling from the airport to your quarantine hotel or, if eligible, home quarantine. You must wear the mask until you arrive at your allocated room in government arranged accommodation or, if eligible, at your quarantine residence.

Exceptions from wearing face masks

There are some exceptions to wearing a face mask, including:

  • children under 12
  • travelling in a private vehicle, either alone or with only members of the person’s household
  • a person eating, drinking or taking medicine
  • is seated at a hospitality venue such as a pub, club, café or restaurant or in an indoor stadium, sports arena or sports centre
  • is participating in strenuous sporting activity or exercise in an indoor space
  • performing work where clear visibility of the mouth is required, e.g. a speech therapist in a hospital or healthcare setting.
  • when providing or receiving a permitted service and it is not reasonably practical to do so wearing a face mask (such as a person receiving facial beauty treatment in a retail shop)
  • where visibility of the mouth is essential
  • where a mask needs to be removed to clearly communicate
  • a person with a particular medical condition or disability
  • performing work where clear visibility of the mouth is required, e.g. a speech therapist in a hospital or healthcare setting.
  • a resident of a residential aged care facility or a shared disability accommodation service (This is subject to any policies or requirements of a facility or service)
  • a prisoner in a corrective services facility or a detainee in a detention centre (This is subject to any policies or requirements of that facility or centre)
  • a person undergoing medical treatment
  • if a person is asked to remove a face mask for identity purposes
  • if wearing a mask creates a risk to a person’s health and safety
  • in an emergency or when required by law
  • in any circumstances when it’s not safe to wear a mask
  • if you are an air crew member or airport worker who is not interacting directly with passengers
  • sitting at a workplace or standing at a workstation and can maintain physical distance from others. (a person who works alone in an office does not need to wear a mask. Workers who move around the workplace or who have frequent contact with people (such as at a reception or sales desk) must wear a face mask.

A person who removes their face mask under an exemption must resume wearing a face mask as soon as practical. For example, as soon as they finish eating, broadcasting or receiving medical care.

For more information

Questions and answers about this Direction

Questions about face masks

Can businesses refuse service to someone if they are not wearing a face mask?

Shops and businesses have the right to refuse entry or ban any person from their premises. If there is a direction in place that mandates the wearing of a face mask and someone is not wearing one without a valid reason not to, the business has the right to refuse service.

Businesses should not refuse service to people who are not lawfully required to wear a mask.

Do I have to provide a medical certificate to prove I can't wear a mask due to my medical condition?

You do not need a medical certificate to prove you have a lawful reason for not wearing a face mask.

If you cannot wear a mask for a medical reason it is recommended you wear a face shield.

Do children have to wear a mask?

No, children under 12 years do not have to wear a mask, unless the child is at high school, regardless of their age.

All other high school students must carry and wear a mask at all times unless seated or where they can maintain physical distancing of 1.5m.

Do students in high school need to wear a mask?

All high school students, including those who are under 12 years of age, need to wear a mask unless they are seated indoors or outdoors or are able to maintain a 1.5 metre distance from others.

Do I have to wear a mask when I am in an indoor workplace?

If you are seated or standing at a workstation at an indoor workplace and can maintain physical distance from your colleagues (such as people working in an office alone), you may remove your face mask. Workers who move around the workplace or who have frequent contact with people (such as at a reception or sales desk) must wear a face mask.

Masks may also be removed for limited reasons in certain workplace settings. This includes when providing or receiving a permitted service and it is not reasonably practical to do so wearing a face mask (such as a person receiving facial beauty treatment in a retail shop), and performing work where clear visibility of the mouth is required (such as a speech therapist in a hospital or healthcare setting).

An indoor space that is a workplace includes a classroom, childcare room and shared indoor area at a school or childcare centre.

Do teachers and childcare workers have to wear a mask?

Generally, teachers (primary and high school) and childcare workers \ are required to wear masks while standing or moving about indoors, but may remove their mask when seated or if able to maintain a 1.5 metre distance from others while teaching or interacting with students or children. A face shield could be used if visibility of the mouth is essential for teaching. Masks can be removed when outdoors if 1.5 metres distance can be maintained from others.

Do I have to wear a mask in an outdoor workplace?

No, unless you can’t maintain 1.5 metres distance from other people. For example, a window cleaner working alone does not need to wear a mask, however, a builder working on a busy construction site who cannot maintain physical distance from other trades people must wear a mask unless it’s unsafe to do so. A teacher on playground duty may carry a mask and only wear it if they are unable to maintain 1.5 metres distance from other people, for example when assisting an injured student.

If I am an inpatient at a hospital, do I have to wear a mask?

This will be determined by your treating hospital.

I receive care at my own home, do I have to wear a mask?

You are not required to wear a mask when inside your home. However, the carer or healthcare worker providing care must wear a mask.ut more information about COVID-19 and human rights.

How can I wear a face mask if I have a hearing aid?

If you wear a hearing aid we recommend considering wearing a mask that ties around your head, rather than over the ears to ensure the ties do not get tangled in your hearing aid.

Find out how to use, wear and dispose of a face mask.

How do I stop my face mask fogging up my glasses?

Try one of these tips to help prevent your face mask fogging your glasses:

  • make sure your face mask is fitted and pinched on your nose if possible
  • put your glasses on after your mask
  • wash your glasses with detergent and water to create a film to prevent fogging
  • use micropore tape (available at pharmacies) to tape the mask along the bridge of your nose and cheeks, then put your glasses on top
  • put a folded tissue across the bridge of your nose, then put your mask on with your glasses on top.

Find out how to use, wear and dispose of a face mask.

How do I wear a mask correctly if I have a big beard?

Ensure the mask covers your nose and mouth, regardless of any facial hair. For non-medical face masks, you do not have to achieve a seal with the mask against the skin of your face.

There are different shapes and sizes of fabric non-medical masks available, some of which may be a more comfortable option if you have facial hair.

Can I remove my face mask to smoke or use an e-cigarette?

Yes, subject to existing restrictions on smoking in public places in Queensland.

While there isn’t enough evidence to be certain that people who smoke are more likely to be infected by COVID-19, the act of smoking means that fingers are in contact with your lips which increases the possibility of transmission of virus from hand to mouth.

Find out more about smoking and COVID-19.

Can I remove my mask at the hairdresser or barber?

Yes. Face masks can be removed if the service cannot be provided while you are wearing a face mask. For example, masks can be removed for a beard trimming or shave.

They must be worn when it is possible to do so for example during most haircuts.

Do entertainers need to wear masks when performing?

If you cannot perform your role whilst wearing a mask, you may remove it to perform. This applies to singers or musicians of oral instruments.

For those who can wear a mask during their performance, they must wear a mask, for example musicians of string instruments.

I wear traditional or religious garments that cover my head or face, do I have to wear a mask?

Yes. There are a range of face masks available that can be worn with traditional and religious garments. These include face masks that are tied around the head, rather than looped over the ears.

If you wear a face covering, like a veil or scarf, you should wear your face mask beneath this, so it is fitted to your face.

Find out how to use, wear and dispose of a face mask.

Does the instructor of a high-intensity/strenuous indoor activity have to wear a mask while teaching the class?

No, high-intensity/strenuous indoor activity instructors do not have to wear a mask while teaching classes.

Do I need to carry a mask with me when I exercise outdoors?

You must wear a mask when you cannot physically distance, unless you are with members of your own household.

You do not have to wear a mask if you are doing strenuous aerobic exercise such as high-intensity interval training, cycling, or running. You do not have to wear a mask while swimming.

Do I have to wear a mask while attending a funeral or wedding?

Yes, you must wear a face mask when you are in indoor and outdoor spaces and can’t physically distance from others.

These rules also apply for weddings and funerals. At weddings the couple getting married does not have to wear a mask while getting married. Photos can be taken without the bridal party or guests wearing masks.

Do people have to wear a mask during one-to-one support/counselling sessions where physical distancing can be maintained?

You must wear a mask when you are indoors, unless it is in your own home. Both counsellor and client should wear a face mask.

Questions about face masks during a photo session

Do I need to wear a face mask when I have a passport photo taken in a retail store?

No. You may remove your mask while the photo is being taken and put it back on as soon as the photo has been taken.

Do I need to wear a face mask when I take a photo in a retail photo booth?

No. You may remove your mask while the photo is being taken and maintain physical distance from people who are not members of your household. You should put the mask back on as soon as the photo has been taken.

Do my children aged 12 or over or I need to wear a face mask while having our family photos taken at a pop-up photography service in a shopping centre?

No If you and your children aged 12 years and over are in the photo, you do not need to wear a mask while the photo is being taken. However, you should, as much as possible, maintain physical distance from people who are not members of your household. Anyone required to wear a face mask should put the mask back on once the photography is completed.

Does the photographer need to wear a face mask?

Yes. The photographer needs to wear a face mask unless an exception applies to them.

Questions about face masks at airports and on flights

Do I have to wear a mask if I’m driving a vehicle with no passengers?

No. You do not need to wear a mask if you are driving a vehicle without passengers.

Do I have to wear a face mask if I am not interacting directly with passengers?

Air crew and airport workers who do not interact directly with passengers do not need to wear a mask. If you are in the airport where passengers are present, you must wear a face mask. If you are at an airport in a locked down area, you must wear a mask at all times unless an exception applies

What type of mask can I wear in an airport or on a plane? Will it be provided to me?

You must obtain your own face mask. The best face mask is a single-use surgical mask – you can purchase these at pharmacies. If you are unable to get a surgical mask, any cloth mask with at least 3 layers is permitted.

Find out how to use, wear and dispose of a face mask.

Who are air crew and airport workers?

Air crew means a person on a commercial domestic flight landing or taking off in Queensland who is:

  • a pilot or crew member providing essential safety or maintenance functions or cabin crew member actively servicing a commercial domestic flight
  • an off-shift pilot or crew member providing essential safety or maintenance functions or cabin crew member travelling to reposition to commence duty in Queensland or another State or Territory
  • an aeromedical services crew member providing patient transport or emergency medical care to a patient
  • an off-shift aeromedical services crew member who is travelling as a passenger on an aircraft to reposition to commence duty in Queensland or another State of Territory.

Airport worker means someone required to perform work in a Queensland airport, including:

  • an engineer or other technical staff
  • a cleaner
  • a baggage handler
  • a person involved in the delivery or removal of food, goods or other things in connection with an aircraft
  • an employee of an airline other than air crew
  • a person providing law enforcement or border security services.

Questions about penalties and enforcement

Are there penalties if I don’t comply?

Yes. If you don’t comply you may be given an on-the-spot fine of $1,378 for individuals and $6,892 for corporations, a court-imposed penalty of up to $13,785 or 6 months' imprisonment. If you refuse a police direction to wear a face mask, you could be given an on-the-spot fine of $206.

Are these rules mandatory?

Yes. A whole of government approach exists for this pandemic and Queensland Police Service is responsible for compliance.

How is this being enforced?

Queensland Police and enforcement officers will enforce these restrictions and ensure Queenslanders are doing their part to slow the spread. Industry and business regulators will also play a role in ensuring organisations are compliant with restrictions.

At the airport and on flights

Airlines can stop someone from boarding a domestic flight or flying with the airline (for a period of time determined by the airline) if they refuse to wear a face mask.

Although airlines are not responsible for enforcing compliance with the Mandatory Face Masks Direction, they can report non-compliance to the Queensland Police Service or Australian Federal Police through their current processes.

Queensland Police Service and Australian Federal Police officers may take action if a person refuses to wear a face mask without a lawful reason. A person may be given a move-on direction to not board a flight or to leave the airport for up to a 24 hour period. If someone refuses a police direction to wear a mask, police officers can issue an on-the-spot fine of $206, an infringement notice, or a notice to appear in court.