This week, Australia’s largest airline, Qantas, announced that it would be removing mask mandates on certain international flights. As of Tuesday 21 June 2022, the mask mandate is no longer in effect for passengers or crew members on Qantas flights departing certain states headed to certain locations. While it is the first time an Australian airline is scrapping mask rules, similar decisions have been made by international airlines earlier this year.
With all these changes, you might find yourself wondering: do I still have to wear a mask on a plane during my travels? Let’s take a look at what you need to know about mask mandates on flights coming in and out of Australia.
Do I still need to wear a mask on a domestic flight?
Yes. At the time of this writing, masks are still mandatory on all domestic flights within Australia. You are also required to wear a mask on all inbound flights to Australia. So, even if you don’t need one for your journey out of the country, you should still pack one for the trip back.
Do I still need to wear a mask on an international flight?
The answer to this question depends on three factors:
- Where you are boarding your flight
- Where you are travelling to
- Which airline you are travelling with
Currently, travellers departing New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia do not need to wear masks on international Qantas flights to any of the following destinations:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States of America
- Rome, Italy
Qantas is the only Australian airline to abandon mask requirements for the previously mentioned flight paths. However, you may be flying with an international airline when leaving Australia. As a result, you may not be required to wear a mask on other outbound aircrafts heading to these destinations. Be sure to check your airline’s requirements to find out for certain and learn more about outbound travel from Australia here.
Do I still need to wear a mask at the airport?
No, masks are no longer required in airport terminals in Australia.
The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) has recommended that mask mandates in airports be scrapped as of 17 June 2022. Since then, all states and territories have lifted the requirement, meaning you no longer need to wear masks in airport terminals. Learn more about the rules in your state or territory below:
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- Victoria (as of Friday 24 June 2022 at 11:59pm)
- Western Australia
Should I still wear a mask even if I don’t have to?
This is entirely up to you. In the announcement of its decision, Qantas referenced that the chances of transmitting COVID-19 in the cabin is very low. However, it’s important to assess your personal risk comfort level. Think about what would make you feel safest when travelling; if a mask will offer some extra peace of mind, then feel free to wear one!
Still not sure if you’ll have to wear a mask on your flight? Always check with your airline well in advance to confirm their requirements so you can be as prepared as possible. You can also check the government requirements of your destination country to learn more.