Face masks

Last Updated: 26 Nov 2022 9:29am


  • wear a face mask in crowded indoor spaces, on Public Transport,and when visiting people who may be at risk of severe illness.

People at risk of severe illness

  • Wear a face mask in indoor or crowded public settings

Some businesses and high-risk settings, such as residential aged care and disability facilities or hospitals may require staff and visitors to wear face masks as part of their workplace health and safety practices.

Please be respectful of these requirements and carry a face mask with you in case you need to wear one.

After testing positive for COVID-19 you can continue to be infectious for up to 10 days. If you do test positive, it is recommended you stay home if you have symptoms.

If you must leave home during your infectious period it is recommended that you wear a face mask when indoors and on public transport. Many people with COVID-19 experience very mild symptoms and may not be aware that they are sick and infectious.

If you are at higher risk of respiratory illness like COVID-19 and flu, or are in contact with others who are, consider wearing a mask.

Keep a supply of masks at home for yourself and other household members as part of your COVID-19 preparation.

How often to change your face mask

  • Surgical and paper masks should only be used once.
  • Do not re-use the same mask to go home that you used on the trip to a location.
  • Carry your clean masks in a plastic bag (preferably a zip-lock bag) or paper bag to keep them clean.
  • If you choose to use a cloth mask, you can wash and re-use them many times. It is a good idea to have at least two, so you will always have a clean one available.
  • Re-using a cloth mask without washing it is risky. It can become contaminated or may not be as effective in protecting you. For each new situation, put on a clean mask.
  • Throw away used surgical masks in the bin (don’t forget to cut the ties) or store used cloth masks in a plastic bag until you can wash them. If you have COVID-19, used face masks should be placed in a sealed bag and put into a bin.

Washing a reusable cloth face mask

Cloth masks should be washed after every use.

They can be washed in the washing machine with other clothes, or hand washed using soap and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth.

Dry the cloth mask in the clothes dryer or in fresh air before you re-use it.

Clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser (made up of over 60% alcohol or 70% isopropanol) after handling used face masks.


A range of resources are available to help promote mask wearing requirements. These include posters and social media tiles. View the full range of resources.