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covid19-restriction-checker: COVID-19 Restriction Checker

Face masks - New South Wales

Updated on 18 October 2021, at 12:25 AET

NSW restrictions

NSW is no longer under lockdown. However, there are different rules for people who are fully vaccinated and those who are not fully vaccinated.

All people over the age of 12 must wear a face mask, unless an exemption applies, in the following settings:

  • indoor areas — for example while shopping and when at a library
  • indoor areas of common property of apartment buildings
  • public transport waiting areas
  • on public transport
  • working at a hospitality venue and dealing directly with members of the public
  • on an aircraft when the aircraft is flying above NSW and in the airport

You are no longer required to carry a face mask with you.

You can remove your face mask if you're:

  • eating or drinking
  • communicating with another person who is deaf or hard of hearing
  • at work, and:
    • the nature of the work makes the wearing of a fitted face covering a risk to yours, or another persons' health and safety
    • where clear enunciation or visibility of your mouth is essential
    • where the work is in an indoor area and no other person is in the area
  • asked to remove your mask for identity purposes
  • in an emergency situation
  • providing goods and services and you need to remove your mask to provide those goods or services properly
  • doing exercise except in an indoor area as part of a gym class
  • at a correctional centre, place of custody or hospital
  • a resident at an aged care facility
  • a guest in a hotel/motel room and in your room
  • in the process of getting married
  • working alone in an office

You need to wear your face mask again when the reason for taking it off has ended.

Fully vaccinated people who work in office buildings don’t need to wear face masks in their office building, except when they’re in a part of that building that’s either a retail premise, hospitality venue or a recreation facility.

For information on mask requirements for school students and staff when at school, go to ‘Education and Childcare – New South Wales’ in the Restriction Checker.

Exceptions to wearing masks

Children aged 2 to 12 years don’t have to wear a mask but are encouraged to wear one where practicable.

Children under 2 years must not wear masks — since they’re a choking and suffocation risk.

If you can’t wear a face mask because of a disability, illness, or mental or physical health condition, you must carry either:

  • a medical certificate or letter signed by a registered health practitioner — such as a doctor — or a registered NDIS provider; or
  • a statutory declaration

For more information, go to Click ‘COVID-19 rules and restrictions. Then click ‘Face mask rules’.

Further reopening from 1 December 2021

From Wednesday 1 December 2021, restrictions are expected to ease further.

Masks will be required only for public transport, planes and airports, and indoor front-of-house hospitality staff.

Service NSW COVID Safe check-in

The Service NSW COVID Safe check-in app is mandatory across most businesses, venues and events. See for more details.

If you don't have a smartphone, you can apply for COVID-19 check-in card at

For up-to-date information on restrictions in NSW, visit

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