What are the COVID-19 face mask rules for each state and territory?

Last week, the national cabinet agreed to lift the mask mandate for domestic flights, as well as cut the isolation period for most COVID-19 cases from seven days to five.

The new changes took effect this morning, but the mask mandates have not been fully lifted.

Some jurisdictions still require masks on public transport, in hospitals and in care homes, while others have increased face covering requirements.

Click the links below to see the mask rules for your state or territory:


Masks are mandatory in the following settings:

  • On public transportation, including a public bus, light rail vehicle, taxi, rideshare vehicle, rental car, or demand response service vehicle
  • Staff and visitors entering high-risk environments, including hospitals, aged care facilities, correctional centers and residential facilities for people who need frequent and close personal care and who are vulnerable to serious diseases
  • Staff who provide a service to a disabled person which is funded by the National Disability Insurance Scheme or provided by the Government ACT
  • Staff working for a home and community aged care provider

Household contacts of COVID-19 cases aged 12 and older should wear a mask in any indoor setting outside of their home.

New South Wales

Masks are mandatory:

  • In a public hospital or private healthcare facility (including private hospitals and day intervention centres)
  • In residential care facilities or youth hostels
  • On public transport and public transport waiting areas (including taxis and ride-sharing services)
  • In a cruise terminal

People over the age of 12 who are a household or close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should wear a face mask when indoors outside their home.

North territory

Face masks are mandatory in the following high-risk settings:

  • Hospitals and health facilities
  • Aged care facilities
  • Accommodation establishments for people with disabilities
  • correctional institutions
  • Domestic violence, sobering up and homeless shelters
  • Masks must also be worn outside the home for five days after isolation


People 12 years and older must wear a mask in the following contexts:

  • In health care facilities, seniors’ residences, housing for the disabled, prisons or detention centers
  • On public transport, including waiting on the platform or at a stop
  • In a taxi, ride-sharing vehicle, or commercial shuttle, including while waiting at a taxi rank or pick-up area

And people should wear a mask when outside their home or accommodation if:

  • They have a temperature equal to or greater than 37.5 degrees
  • They have symptoms of COVID-19
  • They are waiting for a COVID-19 PCR test result
  • If they are diagnosed with COVID-19, are a close contact, or are an international traveler (as per other public health guidelines)

People who test positive must wear a mask when leaving the house for seven days after their self-isolation period ends – this goes for indoor environments as well as outdoors when they cannot stay physically distant from others.

There are exemptions for people affected by a medical condition or disability.

southern australia

Wearing a mask is compulsory for all people in the following contexts:

  • Health services
  • Pharmacies
  • Disability care facilities
  • Residential facilities for the elderly
  • Passenger transport services – buses, trains, trams, taxis, carpooling and other vehicle rental or charter arrangements

If you are a close contact, you must wear a mask when you leave the house for seven days after exposure.


Mask mandates have been greatly reduced, but masks are still required for the following people:

  • Close contacts of COVID-19 cases, in any indoor space outside your home
  • Confirmed cases of COVID-19, in circumstances where they may come into contact with, or expose others to, COVID-19


People aged eight and over should wear masks in the following settings:

  • In public transport, in taxis/ride-sharing services and in passenger vehicles
  • When visiting a hospital, healthcare facility or any other publicly accessible indoor space in a healthcare facility, including paramedical facilities
  • In a public indoor space if you are a close contact of a COVID-19 case
  • Work in an indoor space that is a publicly accessible area of ​​a court or justice center
  • Work in a resident-facing role in an interior space of a care facility, including when not interacting with residents
  • Work in an indoor space of a prison, police jail, remand center, residential youth center, youth justice center or post-sentence facility
  • After being tested for COVID-19 and awaiting results
  • If you have COVID-19 or are a close or family contact and are cleared to leave quarantine (for example, because you tested negative in a rapid antigen test)

Western Australia

Masks will only be required in high-risk environments such as:

  • Hospitals
  • Healthcare Parameters
  • Facilities for Remedial Services
  • Residential Elderly Care
  • Disabled Services
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Mutations in the COVID-19 virus continue to pose a risk.

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