The wearing of face masks will become mandatory in the ACT from midnight, and the requirement will likely continue for the next two weeks.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said while the territory was yet to record a case of COVID-19 as a result of the latest Sydney outbreak, there were thousands in the city who had recently been in greater Sydney area.
He said there would be a 48-hour introductory period in which no fines would be issued but after that, he expected everyone to comply.
Masks would be required in indoor settings, outdoors and in situations where there was interaction with “people you don’t normally live with, or work with”.
“There are a number of indoor settings that a face mask will be required. However, if you have any doubt about whether a mask is required or not, put one on,” he said in a statement.
“Mask wearing remains just one of many measures that all Canberrans can use to reduce their risk of spreading or contracting the virus. Keeping your distance from people and good hand hygiene should be a part of our lives now.
“We are also asking Canberrans to keep checking into venues. It’s a really simple way to help with any contact tracing that may be required.”
The rules do not apply to children under the age of 12. Masks will also not be required at work if people are not directly interacting with members of the public.
Canberrans are advised to use either single-use disposable masks or resuable cloth ones, and authorities say scarves, bandannas and face shields are not adequate substitutes.
Masks will be required in the follow places:
On a public transport service or at a public transport waiting area, including
- Taxi services
- Rideshare services
- Bus and light rail services
- Community transport services
- Stations or platforms for rail/bus/lightrail
- Bus stops and taxi ranks (including any area where people queue or gather)
In indoor retail premises or business premises that provide goods or services to members of the public who attend the premises (other than a hospitality venue, health service or kiosk), including the following:
- Shopping centres (including food courts)
- Bank branches
- Post offices
- Hairdressing salons
- Nail salons
- Beauty salons (removal of the face covering is permitted if necessary for the proper provision of the goods and services)
- Tanning salons
- Waxing salons
- Tattoo parlours
- Massage parlours
- Betting agencies
- Community centres, youth centres or facilities
- Auction houses
- Real estate auctions / display homes / open homes
- Galleries / museums / national institutions
In any indoor part of premises licensed under the Liquor Act that is used primarily for the purposes of gaming, including a gaming lounge
In indoor entertainment facilities including
- Cinemas or movie theatres
- Events and event performances
In indoor premises being used for public worship or religious services, including places of worship
Visiting or working within residential aged care facilities. (Note: residents of an aged care facility are exempt.)
Working at a hospitality venue in the ACT in a role which requires you to deal directly with members of the public. This includes:
- food and drink premises
- micro-breweries and small distilleries
- registered clubs
- small bars
When can I remove my face mask?
You can remove a fitted face covering when:
- You are eating or drinking
- You are communicating with another person who is deaf or hard of hearing
- You are at work and the nature of your work makes the wearing of a fitted face covering a risk to your health and safety or another person’s health and safety
- Clear enunciation or visibility of the person’s mouth is essential
- In an emergency
- Removal of the covering is necessary for the proper provision of the goods and services
Who does not need to wear a face mask?
Face mask requirements do not apply to:
- Persons aged 12 years or under,
- A person with a physical or mental health illness or condition, or disability that makes wearing a fitted face covering unsuitable including for example a skin condition, an intellectual disability, autism or trauma.