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Do I Have to Wear a Mask on Public Transport?

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Australia has seen several changes to its mask mandates – many of which have occurred in the last few weeks. For example, when it comes to wearing masks on planes, the Australian Government has removed mask mandates for domestic flights and international flights entering Australia*. 

*Note: Passengers may still be required by international airlines to wear a mask on an aircraft, including on flights leaving and entering Australia. 

Recently, some states and territories have even removed mask mandates for those travelling on public transport. Wondering if you still need to wear a mask on public transport in your state or territory? We’ve got you covered.

ACT – Yes

According to Transport Canberra, face masks are still required for anyone over the age of 12 on public transport. There is some speculation that the mandate will be lifted at the end of September as this is when the ACT’s public health emergency is scheduled to end. However, be sure to check the Transport Canberra website or the ACT Government’s face mask webpage for further updates.

NSW – No

From Wednesday 21 September 2022, face masks will no longer be mandatory on public transport in NSW, as announced in a press release issued on 19 September 2022. While face masks are no longer required on public transport, passengers are still encouraged to wear them if they cannot physically distance themselves from others.

NT – No 

Masks are not needed on public transport in the Northern Territory, as well as in most indoor settings. Face masks are only mandatory in “high-risk” indoor environments in the NT, which include:

  • Hospitals
  • Health care facilities (e.g. general practitioners’ offices)
  • Aged care facilities
  • Disability residential facilities 
  • Correctional facilities
  • Domestic violence, sobering up and/or homeless shelters

Queensland – No

From midnight on Wednesday 21 September 2022, Queensland’s public transport mask mandate will be removed, announced Health Minister Yvette D’Ath. In her remarks, she clarified that masks will still be mandatory for those who may be close contacts or have recently had COVID-19. 

SA – No 

Similarly, the Government of South Australia has announced that face masks will no longer be needed on public transport as of Tuesday 20 September 2022. In its statement, the government mentioned that those who wish to continue wearing masks on public transport are free to do so. 

Tasmania – No

While face masks are not required to ride public transport in Tasmania, individuals are encouraged to conduct their own risk assessments and continue wearing them if they feel most comfortable doing so. 

Victoria – Yes

At the time of this writing, face masks are still required on public transport as well as in taxis and rideshares (such as Ubers) in Victoria. Free N95 and KN95 face masks are now available to the general public to help curb the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases.

WA – No

Following the latest health advice, WA lifted its public transport mask mandate on 9 September 2022. This means face masks aren’t needed on buses, trains, light rails, taxis or rideshare services. Mask-wearing is encouraged in settings where physical distancing isn’t possible.