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Business Tasmania

Mask mandate FAQs

This page is a collection of FAQs regarding the current mask mandate, and how it applies to your business. This information has been provided to Business Tasmania by Public Health, and WorkSafe Tasmania, and we plan to add to it over time. The information below is current as at 23 December 2021, and is subject to change with new Public Health Directions.

A few links below will take you to further information on the Tasmanian Government Coronavirus website, as well as our Coronavirus Information page which hosts a range of resources to help you.

General information about face masks

Where can I get a face mask?

Responsibility for providing face masks is on the individual, not on the business. If you would like to supply masks, or have some on hand just in case, check our Personal Protective Equipment temporary supply register.

Additionally, face masks are available for purchase at most retail outlets including supermarkets, petrol stations, chemists, pharmacies, and some retail stores.

Why do I always have to carry a face mask?

You must carry a face mask at all times, so that you have a face mask on your person in the event that you must wear one.

For example, if you are working alone in an indoor space, you are not required to wear a face mask. However, you must carry a face mask at all times so that you have one ready to wear when another person enters that space.

Do I have to wear a face mask if I am outdoors?

Face masks are not required outdoors unless you are at an event where more than 1000 people are in attendance. Please see the Events Framework for more details.

Do I have to wear a face mask when I am at home/visiting someone at their home/providing a commercial service at their home?

No, you do not have to wear a face mask in your home or when visiting another person’s home.

Face masks are not required in residential premises.

However, if you are in another person’s home for the purpose of providing a commercial service, and there are other people in that space, you must wear a mask.

Who is exempt from carrying and wearing a face mask?

The following people are not required to wear or carry a face mask:

A child who:

  • is aged under 12 years; or
  • is a primary school student aged 12 years or more while they are on the school grounds (note – once the child leaves the school property, they must wear a face mask).

A person who:

  • has a medical certificate or other documentation by a medical practitioner that certifies that the person has a physical (or mental health) illness, condition or disability that makes the wearing of a face mask unsuitable; and
  • can produce a copy of this certificate if requested by a person in authority.

A person who:

  • has an exemption from the requirement to wear a face mask from the Director of Public Health; and is able to produce a copy of this exemption if requested by a person in authority.

When can I take my face mask off?

You do not have to wear a face mask in the following circumstances. If you take your face mask off for one of the following reasons, you must put it on again as soon as possible.

You may remove your face mask:

  • to communicate with a person who is deaf or who has impaired hearing, and the visibility of your mouth is essential for communication
  • if you are performing or rehearsing (e.g., actors, musicians, dancers)
  • if wearing the face mask would create a risk to your health and/or safety
  • to enunciate clearly, or to ensure visibility of your mouth, as part of your employment or training
  • when eating or drinking or taking medicine
  • when undergoing medical care or treatment, and this care or treatment is not able to be provided while you wear a face mask
  • when you are in a personal vehicle
  • when it is an emergency and it is not practicable or safe to wear the face mask, including when escaping harm or the risk of harm
  • during a period of intense physical exercise
  • while swimming
  • if you are working, volunteering or studying in an indoor or outdoor space where there are no other persons present (other than people with whom you live with)
  • if you are riding a bicycle or motorcycle
  • if you are a prisoner in a prison, or a person detained in a remand centre, youth residential centre or youth justice centre subject to any policies of that prison/centre;
  • in other circumstances as specified in an exemption given to you in writing by the Director of Public Health or delegate; and
  • if receiving a service that could not be provided if you wore a face mask.

You must remove your face mask when you are requested to remove your face mask by a person in authority, to ascertain or to confirm your identity.

What is the fine for not wearing a mask?

An infringement notice of $778.50 can be issued to a person for not wearing a face mask.

Where can I get posters to remind people they need to wear a mask?

Posters are available for you to use in your setting to remind others they must use a mask:

What if I experience symptoms?

If you experience symptoms, please isolate and get a test. Testing for COVID-19. There is currently strong demand for testing. To avoid waiting at testing clinics, it is strongly encouraged that bookings are made at clinics that take bookings. Fill out the online form and request a booking

Accommodation

Do I have to wear a face mask at accommodation? (e.g., hotels, hostels)

  • Yes, face masks are required for all indoor public spaces.
  • This includes accommodation such as hotels and hostels.
  • You must wear a mask in common facilities such as hotel bars, lobbies, waiting areas.
  • You are not required to wear a face mask while in your room.
  • Face masks are not required in residential premises, including those being used as a B&B.

Are face masks mandatory in accommodation facilities?

Yes, a face mask is required in all public indoor settings, this includes hotel lobbies and restaurants.

However, a face mask is not required in a person’s hotel room or in residential settings. This means they are not required in accommodation facilities such as Airbnb.

Airbnb’s are considered a residential premise and therefore masks are not required except for people providing commercial services e.g., cleaners.

Are face masks required for guests at a B&B?

No, a face mask is not required in residential premises, including residential premises used as a B&B.

What are the rules around wearing a mask at a \ hostel or caravan park that all have communal areas?

Face masks are required in all public indoor settings, this includes communal areas of accommodation facilities such as caravan parks and hostels.

A face mask may be removed when a guest is in their personal room or when eating or drinking. Face masks are not required in residential premises, including residential premises used as B&Bs.

Where do customers or staff need to wear a mask at a caravan park?

Face masks are required in all public indoor settings, this includes communal areas of accommodation facilities such as the reception area, shared amenities, laundry and kitchen areas of a caravan park. Staff must also wear a face mask when cleaning/servicing rooms unless they are working by themselves and no other person is present in the room.

Food and beverage

What are the rules for food and beverage?

A face mask may be removed to eat or drink but must be put back on immediately after you have finished.

Do I have to wear a face mask when at a restaurant or at a night club?

Yes, you must wear a face mask when indoors at a restaurant, bar or night club.

You can remove your face mask to eat or drink.

You must wear your face mask again as soon as the permitted reason ends.

Do kitchen staff need to wear a mask?

Face masks are required in all public indoor settings, this includes a workplace such as a kitchen.

There are certain exceptions to wearing a face mask, including if wearing a mask would create a risk to the health or safety of the person. This may for example, apply to the staff member when operating a fryer but not to other staff performing other duties in the kitchen.

Transport

Do I have to wear a face mask in the car with colleagues?

No, you are not required to wear a mask in a car, unless it is an Uber, taxi or rideshare vehicle.

Do I have to wear a face mask on public transport?

Yes, you must wear a face mask when using public transport, such as a bus, taxi and rideshare vehicles.

Do I have to wear a face mask on boats?

Masks are required in indoor areas of commercial or recreational boats unless they are a residence (home). Masks are not required to be worn when a passenger is in their cabin. This advice applies to cruise ships and other similar vessels operating in Tasmania.

Performers

I am a performer (actor, singer, dancer, musician, choir etc) do I have to wear a mask while performing and during rehearsals?

Face masks are required in all public indoor settings. However, a face mask may be removed when a person is performing or rehearsing for a theatrical, musical or dance performance. The face mask must be put back on immediately after the performance or rehearsal is finished.

Before and after the production you should wear a face mask.

If you are able to wear your face mask during the production (e.g., non-wind instrument musicians), you should.

Do ticket and or service staff need to wear a mask if they have 1.5m between them and are behind protection screens to serve customers?

Yes, face masks are required in all public indoor settings, this includes all workplaces.

If staff a working by themselves in an enclosed indoor space, they may remove their face masks. However, they must put it back on as soon as another person enters that space.

Private events

Do masks have to be worn at private events? (Closed to the public)

Face masks are required in all public indoor settings, this includes a private event that is indoors.

Do I have to wear a face mask at a wedding or funeral?

Yes, you must wear a face mask indoors at weddings and funerals other than:

  • If you are in the process of being married (i.e., bridal couple being married in the ceremony).
  • If you are enunciating as part of employment (e.g., funeral directors or wedding celebrants).
  • If you are eating or drinking.

Can I remove my mask to have a professional photo taken at a wedding or formal?

Face masks can be removed where people are receiving a service or treatment that can’t be provided while they are wearing a face mask, for example a photography service. However, photography businesses should consider providing photography services outdoors, where face masks are not required and where the risk of transmission of COVID-19 is lower.

Exercise, sport, and gyms

Do I have to wear a face mask at the gym or fitness studio?

Yes, face masks are required in all indoor public spaces.

Face masks are not required to be worn during periods of intense physical exercise, including at gyms. This may be if you are running or completing an intense cardio workout.

During other periods of activity that are not intensive, face masks must be worn. This may be the case when stretching.

You must wear a face mask when entering and exiting the gym.

Staff and trainers at the gym must wear a face mask unless they are also exercising and/or if enunciation is important as part of their work (e.g., leading a gym class).

Do I have to wear a face mask during exercise?

You must wear a face mask during exercise, other than during periods of intense physical exercise.

This may be if you are walking briskly or running on a treadmill, cycling on a stationary bike, or completing an intense cardio workout. This will differ from person to person.

During other periods of indoor exercise that are not intensive, face masks must be worn.

People can remove their mask if they are out of breath or puffing. Masks are required to be worn while doing other activities that are not intensive (e.g., stretching).

Do I have to wear a face mask playing sport?

Yes, for indoor sport: face masks are required in all indoor public spaces.

Face masks are not required to be worn during periods of intense physical exercise, including when playing competitive sport.

Staff, spectators and players not part of the game must wear face masks, unless they are required to remove it as part of their employment (e.g., umpires exercising/enunciating; commentators).

Are masks required to be worn why exercising or playing sport indoors in facilities which are not gyms, for example in an indoor netball facility?

Yes, masks are required in indoor sporting facilities except during a period of intense physical exercise, for example whilst playing a game of netball.

What does ‘intense physical exercise mean? Do activities such as yoga require masks?

The definition of intense physical exercise will vary person to person. People are encouraged to apply common sense when defining intense physical exercise. A good rule of thumb is to define intense physical exercise as where you are out of breath or puffing.

Are people allowed to take their mask off to enable clear enunciation as part of his or her recreational or sporting activity?

People are able to take their mask off to enable clear enunciation as part of their employment or engagement under a contract of services or training. This would include an umpire. People may also remove a mask indoors if wearing a mask presents a risk to health and safety, for example, to enable clear communication in the context of clay target shooting.

Do I need to wear a mask in the pool?

Face masks are required in all public indoor settings. However, a face mask may be removed when a person is doing vigorous exercise, swimming or where wearing a face mask would create a risk to the health and safety of a person.

Retail

I work in retail and I work alone, do I have to wear a mask?

Yes, a face mask is required in all public indoor settings, this includes a workplace such aretail, post office in a newsagency. However, where a person is working by themselves in an enclosed indoor space, a face mask is not required.

Do I have to wear a face mask when shopping?

Yes, you must wear a face mask when you are shopping indoors.

Services

Do I have to wear a mask during a beauty / personal care appointment?

You may remove your face mask when receiving a service that could not be provided if you kept the face mask on.

This may include:

  • Tattoos
  • Haircuts
  • Facials or massage
  • Piercings
  • Make up
  • Body modification
  • Other similar services

Once you have received the relevant service, you should put your face mask on. Staff providing the service must wear the face mask during the service.

Do cleaners need to wear a mask when cleaning a home, and the residents are also in the home at the same time?

You are required to wear a mask in a residential premise if you are performing commercial services such as cleaning services.

A face mask is not required if a person is working by themselves in an enclosed indoor space. However, if another person is present whilst cleaning, then a face mask would need to be worn.

I work doing manual labour. Do I have to wear a mask even when, for example, working on vehicles or lifting heavy packages in our warehouse?

Face masks are required in all indoor public places, including workplaces, unless a person is working by themselves in an enclosed indoor space.  This would apply to automotive workshop personnel in the workplace.

There are certain exceptions to wearing a face mask, including if wearing a mask would create a risk to the health or safety of the person.  If changing tyres of a heavy vehicle would create a risk to their health or safety they could remove the mask while doing this task then put it back on as soon as the task is complete.