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Mandatory face masks

Gold Coast update 11 November 2021

Given the recent case in the Gold Coast, anyone visiting or living in the Gold Coast should consider wearing a face mask when going out.

Mandatory Face Masks Direction No. 2

In certain circumstances, as described below, you must wear a mask. We recommend everyone else in Queensland should keep a mask with them so that if you are in a situation where you may not be able to maintain physical distancing, you have some added protection.

If you’ve been in an impacted or locked down area

If you’ve been in an impacted or locked down area in the last 14 days, you must continue to wear a mask until 14 days have passed. There are currently no impacted areas in Queensland.

Queensland airports

You must carry 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 tor or from government arranged 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 arriving to Queensland from overseas or a COVID-19 hotspot and you are required to quarantine, you must wear a face mask at all times while travelling from the airport to your quarantine hotel. You must wear the mask until you arrive at your allocated room in government arranged accommodation.

Exceptions from wearing face masks

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

  • children under 12
  • a person eating, drinking or taking medicine
  • 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
  • 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.

For full details read the Mandatory Face Masks Direction No. 2.

Questions and answers about this Direction

Questions about face masks

When do I have to wear a face mask?/ Where do I have to wear a face mask

You are only required to wear a mask in some locations such as airports on domestic flights. You do not need to wear a mask if you:

  • have not been in a locked down area since 4pm on 8 August 2021 or an impacted area at any time since 1am AEST 29 June; or
  • do not reside in the same household as a person who has been in a locked down area at any time from 4pm on 8 August 2021 or an impacted areas at any time from 1am AEST 31 July 2021

You are not required to wear a mask if 14 days have passed since you or a member of your household was in an impacted areas or a locked down area.

We recommend everyone else in Queensland should keep a mask with them so that if you are in a situation where you may not be able to maintain physical distancing, you have some added protection.

Who doesn’t have to wear a face mask?

#exceptions

There are also some exceptions to wearing a face mask in airports in Queensland, on domestic flights and in vehicles transporting people to and from quarantine hotels.

These exceptions include:

  • children under 12
  • a person eating, drinking or taking medicine
  • where visibility of the mouth is essential – for example, a person communicating to someone who is deaf or hard of hearing, a teacher or live broadcasting
  • a person with a particular medical condition or disability that may be made worse by wearing a mask – for example, a person who has breathing difficulties, a serious skin condition on their face, a mental health condition or psychological impacts from experienced trauma
  • a person undergoing medical treatment – for example, a person receiving first aid
  • if a person is asked to remove a face mask for identity
  • if wearing a mask creates a risk to a person’s health and safety
  • in an emergency or when required by law – for example, if a customs officer requires a person to remove their mask for a cavity search
  • in any circumstances where it is not safe to wear a face mask
  • if you are an air crew member or an airport worker who is not interacting directly with passengers.

If you remove your face mask for any reason, you must put it back on as soon as practicable.

Do I have to wear a mask if I work in the building and construction industry?

If you work in the building and construction industry, masks are mandatory and must be worn at all times, unless:

  • it is unsafe to do so
  • you are eating or drinking
  • you are alone in your car (or with only members of your household)
  • you are alone or can physically distance (from non-household members)
  • you are smoking, but you must maintain 1.5 metre distance from other people while smoking.

This applies both inside and outside of a building, and includes residential construction such as renovations, repairs or maintenance.

If you cannot maintain physical distance from others on the worksite, you must wear your 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.

Find out more information about COVID-19 and human rights.

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.

How can I wear a face mask if I have a hearing aid or wear garments that cover my head or face?

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.

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 covering your nose and mouth.

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.

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.

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.

How will wearing face masks be enforced?

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.

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Questions and requests for exemptions

If you are seeking clarification on a Direction or have any questions, please call 134 COVID (13 42 68).

You can apply for an exemption to a Direction online.