Face masks

Last Updated: 22 Apr 2021 4:23pm

The main reason for wearing a mask is to protect other people. If a person is unknowingly infected, wearing a mask reduces the chance of them passing the virus on to others.

For people at increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness due to older age or chronic health conditions, physical distancing is most important. If you cannot maintain physical distance, wearing a mask is an important protective measure.

Section 1: When to wear a face mask

There are times when wearing a face mask is mandatory in Tasmania, including:

Airports and commercial domestic flights

All people aged 12 and older who are at a Tasmanian airport or on an aircraft must wear a face mask, as outlined in the Airports and aircrafts direction. Whenever you intend to visit an airport, you should carry a face mask with you and wear it as required (unless exempt).

If you are exempt from wearing a face mask, you will be required to show evidence from your doctor (i.e. medical certificate) if requested by an authorised person at an airport or on an aircraft.

When leaving Tasmania or accompanying others to or from the airport, you must wear a face mask at all times – from the moment you step out of your transport at the airport (e.g. leaving your car or stepping out of a taxi), while in the terminal, when crossing the tarmac and for the duration of your flight.

When arriving by air, you must wear a face mask for the duration of the flight and until you are in your transport and leaving the airport (e.g. you are seated in your own or someone else’s vehicle).

You must wear a mask when:

  • inside or outside an airport terminal – this includes saying goodbye and greeting passengers (unless you stay in your car)
  • on board your flight (including during boarding and disembarking, while flying, and when you are on the tarmac)
  • while waiting for your transport or walking to or from your transport (including in the carpark).

The requirement to wear a face mask applies at all Tasmanian airports and on all domestic commercial flights that provide passenger transport or tours in Tasmanian airspace.

Flights on private aircraft are exempt, but anyone who embarks and disembarks a private aircraft at an airport must wear a face mask while at the airport.

You do not need to wear a face mask inside a vehicle at the airport (e.g. in a car, taxi, ride-share or bus). If you intend to take public transport to or from an airport, remember to maintain physical distancing as much as possible and maintain hand hygiene.

Events in entertainment venues with fixed seating

Face masks (or fitted face coverings) must be worn at indoor events in entertainment venues with fixed seating, if there are more than 250 patrons, up to 75 per cent of the fixed seating is used and there is more than one person per two square metres. Everyone indoors at such an event will need to wear a face mask unless they are exempt.

The face mask must cover the person’s mouth and nose.

There are times when the mask can be removed, including:

  • to talk with someone who is deaf or has impaired hearing, if visibility of the mouth is essential for communication
  • to communicate clearly as part of a person’s job or training
  • to eat or drink.

In these situations, the person must put their face mask back on as soon as they can.

Churches, places of worship and funeral homes

At indoor events with seating where the number of people attending will exceed 250 and people will be seated most of the time, the maximum number of attendees may be up to 75 per cent of seating capacity.

If having these larger numbers of people at a venue will mean the density limit will be exceeded (more than one person per two square metres of available space), venues will either need to lower the seating capacity or have attendees wear a face mask, unless exempt.

People performing the service are not required to wear face masks in these circumstances.

The face mask must cover the person’s mouth and nose.

There are times when the mask can be removed, including:

  • to talk with someone who is deaf or has impaired hearing, if visibility of the mouth is essential for communication
  • to communicate clearly as part of a person’s job or training
  • to eat or drink.

In these situations, the person must put their face mask back on as soon as they can.

Section 2: Exemptions

If a person has medical certification (or other documentation by a medical practitioner) of a physical or mental health illness, condition or disability that makes wearing a fitted mask unsuitable, that person does not have to wear or carry a face mask, but is encouraged to do so, if possible.

If you are exempt from wearing a face mask, you will be required to show evidence from your doctor (i.e. medical certificate) if requested by an authorised person at an airport or on an aircraft.

A child aged 11 years or under also does not have to wear or carry a mask, but is encouraged to do so, if possible.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS



Everyone who is in an area of an airport being used for the flying or operation of aircraft (including associated areas, such as the tarmac, terminal and carpark) must wear a face mask. This includes airport employees and non-travellers, for example, people at the terminal to greet, pick up or farewell another passenger.

A person who has medical certification (or other documentation from a medical practitioner) of a physical or mental health illness, condition or disability that makes wearing a fitted mask unsuitable, does not have to wear a face mask.

A child aged 11 years or under does not have to wear a mask, but is encouraged to do so, if possible.

Yes. You must wear a face mask at all Tasmanian airports and on all domestic commercial flights that provide passenger transport and tours in Tasmanian airspace. This includes interstate trips (e.g. Hobart to Melbourne) and intrastate trips (e.g. Launceston to Flinders Island, or Cambridge airport to Melaleuca).

You must wear a face mask while at airport terminals and on flights, but you may remove the mask when:

  • you are eating, drinking or taking medicine
  • you are communicating with someone who has impaired hearing or who is deaf, and visibility of your mouth is essential for communication
  • wearing the mask would create a risk to your health or safety
  • visibility of your mouth is essential as part of your employment or training
  • you require medical care and this is unable to be provided while you wear a face mask
  • you are requested to remove your face mask by a person in authority, to ascertain or confirm your identity
  • you are required by law to remove your face mask.

You must put a face mask back on as soon as practicable after taking it off for one of the above reasons. If your mask is disposable, it is recommended that you put a clean mask on. If you are using a cloth mask, then you can put that back on after eating or drinking. See How to wear a face mask properly for more details.

If a person has medical certification (or other documentation by a medical practitioner) of a physical or mental health illness, condition or disability that makes wearing a fitted mask unsuitable, that person does not have to wear or carry a face mask, but is encouraged to do so, if possible.

If you are exempt from wearing a face mask, you will be required to show evidence from your doctor (i.e. medical certificate) if requested by an authorised person at an airport or on an aircraft.

A child aged 11 years or under also does not have to wear or carry a mask, but is encouraged to do so, if possible.

Acceptable face masks, as defined by Public Health, include face coverings that fit securely around the face and are designed to be worn over the nose and mouth to provide protection against infection. This does not include face shields.

You can use either disposable (single use) face masks or reusable cloth masks. A disposable mask should be replaced with a new mask if you need to take it off for any reason.

Public Health does not recommend the use of scarves or bandanas as face masks.

For face masks to be effective, they must be worn properly. An incorrectly-used face mask can contribute to spread of the virus.

To use face masks safely:

  • Keep your masks in a plastic bag (preferably a zip-lock bag) until you need to use them.
  • Before putting your mask on, wash your hands all over with soap and water (including your fingertips), rinse and dry well. Alternatively, use alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with the mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask. Tie in place or hook the elastic loops over your ears.
  • When wearing the mask, be careful to only touch the ties or elastic.
  • Don’t touch the front or inside of your mask. If you do, wash your hands immediately or use alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Replace the mask with a new one if it gets damp. Do not reuse disposable masks.

To remove the mask:

  1. To remove the mask, untie or unhook the loops from your ears and take the mask away from your face being careful not to touch the front or inside of the mask
  2. If your mask is disposable, put it straight into a rubbish bin or into a plastic bag to store until you get to a rubbish bin. If your mask is cloth and reusable, put it in a plastic bag to store until you can wash it.
  3. Wash your hands all over with soap and water, rinse and dry well. Alternatively use alcohol-based hand rub.

For more information visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.

You do not need to wear a face mask on board a private aircraft, which is an aircraft that is not commercial (i.e. a family/friend’s aircraft; a training school).

However, you must wear a face mask if moving through a Tasmanian airport. This means that upon arrival at an airport to board or disembark from a private aircraft, the same conditions apply to you as to other people in the airport. A face mask must be worn inside and outside the terminal at all points between leaving your transport (car, bus etc.) at the airport and embarking or disembarking your private aircraft.

The decision to make face masks compulsory at airports and on commercial flights is because of the need to further reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in these busy spaces.

As national restrictions have begun to ease, more and more people are travelling between states and territories and the number of passengers coming in and out of Tasmania has increased.

While all precautions are being taken, airports and aircraft are places of increased risk of COVID-19 transmission. This is because of the large number of people transiting through, many of whom have come from different areas and are in close proximity to one another on aircraft. Wearing face masks is an additional measure to help prevent transmission in places where maintaining physical distancing may be difficult.

Everyone who intends to go to an airport terminal or enter Tasmanian airspace on a commercial flight must bring a face mask with them.

You should have your face mask with you when you leave for an airport, and have it ready to use when you arrive at the airport carpark.

You can buy disposable face masks at most pharmacies and a variety of other retail stores in Tasmania.

The requirement to wear face masks at airports and on aircraft is likely to be a longer-term change to the way we travel. Consider purchasing a small supply of face masks for your household so that you are prepared for your next journey, particularly if you won’t have an opportunity to wash your masks.

No, you do not have to wear a face mask while you are in your transport to or from the airport, but you may choose to do so. If you are on the bus, you are encouraged to maintain physical distancing where possible and maintain hand hygiene.

Airport workplaces

Anyone who works in a building, structure or discrete outdoor area that is used in connection with the flying or operation of commercial aircraft must wear a face mask. This includes activities involving the arrival and departure, loading and unloading of passenger aircraft, and in associated indoor and outdoor areas.

Face masks are not required to be worn in the buildings, structures or discrete outdoor areas at airports that are not used in connection with the flying or operation of commercial domestic aircraft.

This includes businesses at the airport site that are separate to the terminal and other aviation areas (e.g. a food or retail business not inside the terminal, a car hire company not inside the terminal, and postal collection areas not inside the terminal). COVID Safety Plans at these venues are required, including promoting and facilitating COVID Safe behaviours for patrons and guests.

People who work in airport administrative buildings that are separate to a terminal, and where entry by members of the public does not occur, are also not required to wear face masks.

However, any airport worker or aircrew who enters a building or structure or discrete outdoor space associated with the arrival of aircraft, or other areas where face masks are required, must wear a face mask while in these areas.

Yes, you must wear a face mask in a building, structure or discrete outdoor area at an airport that is used (or intended to be used) in connection with the flying or operation of a commercial domestic aircraft.

Aircrew and airport workers on board a commercial domestic aircraft without passengers (e.g. to clean or reload the aircraft, or while flying to another airport) are required to wear face masks while on the tarmac and in Tasmanian airspace.

Airport workers and aircrew who are required to wear face masks must wear and carry a face mask unless:

  • eating, drinking or taking medicine
  • communicating with someone who has impaired hearing or who is deaf, and visibility of your mouth is essential for communication
  • wearing the mask would create a risk to your health or safety
  • visibility of your mouth is essential as part of your employment or training
  • you require medical care and this is unable to be provided while you wear a face mask
  • you are requested to remove your face mask by a person in authority, to ascertain or confirm your identity
  • you are required by law to remove a face mask.

You must put your face mask back on as soon as practicable after taking it off for one of the above reasons. Airport workers and aircrew should follow the guidelines for taking face masks on and off.