Mandatory mask wearing for travel

Last Updated: 15 Dec 2021 12:35pm

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Masks in transit

Airports, ports, aircraft and ships are places of increased risk of COVID-19 transmission. This is because of the large number of people transiting through from different places and in close proximity (e.g. through an airport or on board the Spirit of Tasmania).

Airports

Face masks must be worn by everyone aged 12 years and older who:

  • is in an indoor area of the airport that is open to passengers or a member of the public
  • is boarding a commercial domestic aircraft, including when on the tarmac, and
  • is on board a commercial domestic aircraft in Tasmanian airspace.

This includes airport employees and non-travellers such as people who are greeting, picking up or farewelling others.

Masks must be worn in all airports including intrastate trips, e.g. Cambridge airport to Melaleuca. You don’t need to wear a mask on a private aircraft, i.e. a friend’s plane, but you must still wear a mask if moving through an airport including on the tarmac, in the airport and when embarking or disembarking.

You do not need to wear a face mask when in the carpark or when inside a vehicle at the airport (e.g. in a car, taxi, ride-share or bus).

Airport workers and crew

If you are an airport worker or a member of domestic flight crew at a Tasmanian airport, you must wear a face mask when:

  • in an indoor area of the airport that is open to passengers or a member of the public, or
  • on board an aircraft on the tarmac or in Tasmanian airspace that has passengers or a member of the public on board.

Airport workers and members of flight crew are not required to wear a face mask when they are in an indoor area of the airport or aircraft that is not open to passengers or other members of the public. For example, this may be in a staff-only area of the building, on an empty aircraft, or after-hours at the airport when it is closed to the public.

The moment a staff member enters a public-facing area where members of the public are present, they must wear a facemask and comply with the face mask requirements that apply in that area.

The face mask requirement does not apply to businesses or premises on the airport site that are separate to the terminal and other aviation areas (eg. 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).

Who is an airport worker or member of domestic flight crew?

  • airport worker, at an airport, includes the following persons employed, or engaged, to work at the airport:
  • 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 at the airport;
  • a person employed or engaged by an airline that is operating at the airport;
  • a person providing services relating to law enforcement or border security; and
  • member of a domestic flight crew means a person, on a domestic commercial aircraft, who is employed or engaged as –
  • a pilot, a crew member providing essential safety or maintenance functions or a cabin crew member actively servicing a flight on the domestic commercial aircraft; or
  • a pilot, crew member or cabin crew member who is not working on the domestic commercial aircraft but is travelling on the domestic commercial aircraft to be able to commence work at another location; or
  • an aeromedical services crew member providing patient transport, or emergency medical care, to a patient travelling on the domestic commercial aircraft; or
  • an aeromedical services crew member who is not working on the domestic commercial aircraft but is travelling on the domestic commercial aircraft to be able to commence work at another location.

Spirit of Tasmania and ports

Ports of entry into the State, such as our airports and seaports, are places where people from around the country meet in sometimes close proximity for extended periods of time.

Wearing face masks is an additional measure to help prevent transmission in  places where maintaining physical distancing may be difficult, or where there is direct staff and passenger interaction (e.g. during vehicle inspections, biosecurity or health screening checks).

masks must be worn when:

  • In an indoor area of the Spirit of Tasmania terminal that is open to passengers or other members of the public;
  • In a vehicle that is at the Spirit of Tasmania terminal, on board the vessel, or while proceeding through the Biosecurity screening and other check points;
  • In a communal area on board the Spirit of Tasmania vessel while the vessel is at the terminal or in Tasmanian waters; and
  • In other situations, as required by the Spirit of Tasmania according to its conditions of travel or workplace policies.

masks are not required to be worn when:

  • outdoors on the deck of the Spirit of Tasmania vessel, unless required by a member of staff such as when social distancing is not possible;
  • inside a cabin on the vessel, if the only people present in the cabin are those who have paid to sleep in that cabin; or
  • you have left the Spirit of Tasmania site after disembarking the vessel and wearing a facemask through the relevant screening check points.

Exemptions from wearing a mask

The following people are exempt from wearing a face mask:

  • Children aged 11 years or under do not have to wear or carry face masks, but are encouraged to do so, if possible.
  • Anyone who 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 face mask unsuitable. You may still be encouraged to wear a mask, if possible. If you are exempt from wearing a face mask, you will be required to show evidence from your doctor (ie. medical certificate) if requested by an authorised person at an airport or on an aircraft.
  • People on private aircraft. Except when embarking or disembarking at an airport, you must wear a face mask while in the terminal and crossing the tarmac.

When can I remove my mask?

You must wear a face mask while indoors at the airport or port, on the tarmac and on flights. You must also wear a mask will indoors at the Spirit of Tasmania Terminal, whilst in your vehicle at the terminal and on board the Spirit of Tasmania. 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 you can after removing it 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 do I wear a face mask properly?’ for more details.