Face mask requirements

The requirement to wear face masks in the ACT ended at 11.59pm on Friday 9 July 2021.

We encourage you to wear a face mask where physical distancing is not possible, such as public transport or crowded indoor venues.

Face masks will continue to be mandatory for all domestic air travel and while in the Canberra Airport, as well as for people under stay-at-home requirements while in the community.

You should also continue to follow the advice on mask wearing in high risk settings, such as hospitals, health facilities and residential aged care facilities, correctional and detention facilities, and residential accommodation facilities that support people who require frequent, close personal care and who are vulnerable to severe disease.

What classifies as a face mask?

Face masks must be designed or made to be worn over the mouth and nose and should fit securely around your face to provide the wearer with protection against infection.

Use either single-use masks or reusable cloth masks. Scarves, bandannas, and face shields are not adequate substitutes for masks.

Single-use masks should be made with a non-woven, melt-blown polypropylene layer. They should not contain holes or valves. Always source single-use masks from reputable outlets such as chemists and supermarkets, and—as the name makes clear—only use each mask once. For each situation put on a new, clean mask.

Reusable cloth masks should have at least three layers of fabric to ensure adequate protection. Wash and dry reusable masks after use and store in a clean, dry place.

The NSW Government provides useful information about what kind of masks are suitable, where to get them and how to wear them.

How do I properly wear a face mask?

The NSW Government has a step-by-step guide on how to put on, wear and dispose of a face mask.

Here are some handy tips for wearing a mask:

  • Wash or sanitise your hands before putting on or taking off your mask
  • Ensure the mask covers your nose and mouth and fits snugly under your chin, over the bridge of your nose and against the sides of your face
  • Refrain from touching the front of your mask while wearing or removing it
  • Do not allow the mask to hang around your neck or under your nose
  • Do not reuse single-use masks, for each situation put on a new, clean mask
  • Carry clean masks in a paper or zip-lock bag
  • Wash and dry reusable masks after use and store in a clean, dry place
  • You may use a single-use mask continuously for up to 4 hours, as long as it does not become moist, soiled or damaged. Do not store and reuse single-use masks
  • If your single-use or cloth mask gets soiled or damp, replace it with a new one.

Masks are just one line of defence against COVID-19 and are not a substitute for other precautions. Continue physical distancinghand and respiratory hygiene, staying at home if you are unwell, and getting tested if you have symptoms.

Downloadable resources for businesses and the community

acknowledgement icon
Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

Last Updated: July 15 2021