Greater Brisbane’s mask mandate has been extended until January 22.
While millions of residents will need to stay masked up, some restrictions on when and where you need to wear them are set to be eased.
Here’s a detailed breakdown of the new mask rules.
How much longer do I need to wear a mask?
Health authorities have extended the region’s mask mandate until 1:00am on January 22.
The mandate has been extended in a bid to contain the potential spread of the highly contagious UK variant of COVID-19.
The extended mandate means anyone in the five local government areas that encompass Greater Brisbane must continue to carry a mask on them at all times.
Where do I need to wear a mask?
Greater Brisbane residents will still need to wear a mask but restrictions around them will be slightly eased.
For the next ten days, you will need to carry a mask with you at all times when you leave home.
“When in doubt, wear a mask — it’s very simple. But particularly in those crowded areas,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
You must continue to wear a mask in the following places:
- Shopping centres, supermarkets, retail outlets and indoor markets
- Hospitals and aged care facilities
- Churches, places of worship
- Libraries, cinemas, art galleries etc.
- Indoor workplaces if you cannot socially distance
- Public transport, taxis, rideshares
If you’ve spent time in Greater Brisbane during lockdown and are headed elsewhere, you are still required to wear a mask for the next ten days.
But unlike public indoor venues, you do not need to wear a mask if you are visiting a friend’s private home.
Where do I no longer need to wear a mask?
- Places where you are going to eat and drink such as restaurants, cafes, pubs and clubs
- When outdoors (for example, walking a dog) or doing strenuous exercise, provided you can socially distance from others
- Driving in a private vehicle alone or with members of your family
- In your workplace, provided you can socially distance from colleagues
The State Government recommends you wear a mask when outdoors if you are unable to stay more than 1.5m distance from other people, such as on busy walkways and thoroughfares.
Children under 12 and people affected by a medical condition or disability are exempt.
Do I have to wear a mask at the hairdressers?
Yes — where possible.
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young asked residents to wear a mask where possible while at the hairdresser or beauty salon, for example while getting your hair cut.
If you are getting your beard trimmed or having a facial, for example, you can remove your mask.
“If it’s possible while you have having whatever it is done then, yes, you should wear a mask both for the protection of yourself but also the worker who is there,” Dr Young said.
What about when I go to a restaurant?
You will no longer need to wear a mask in venues where you will be eating or drinking such as restaurants, cafes, pubs and clubs.
Workers serving food and beverages to patrons are required to wear masks.
But if you are at an indoor venue where you are not eating or drinking, you must wear a mask.
“[You must wear one] everywhere indoor, except where you are going to eat and drink,” Dr Young said.
Do I have to wear a mask at work?
No. Unless you cannot socially distance at your workplace.
“If you can’t socially distance in an office environment, in a workplace, then you should wear a mask but if you can socially distance you don’t need to wear a mask,” Dr Young said.
“Workplace health and safety overrides everything else of course, so if it is not safe for them to wear a mask, for instance if they are dealing with machinery and the mask could fall into it or catch, then no.
“But most construction, if it is outside, it is not an issue. If it is inside, it just depends how many people they have got inside.”
What about when I go to the gym?
Yes — You must wear a mask at indoor gyms.
“We know if you are exercising to any degree, you are huffing and puffing and blowing that virus out,” Dr Young said.
“We didn’t have masks back in March, which is why we had that density of one per 7 square metres, so rather than go back to that — just put a mask on.”
Do I need to wear a mask in the car?
You no longer need to wear a mask in private vehicles when driving alone or with family members.
Do I need to wear one when travelling?
You must continue to wear a mask when using ride sharing services, taxis or public transport.
Masks should still be worn on planes and at airports.
Who is exempt?
- Children aged 12 years and under
- Anyone living outside of Greater Brisbane
- People living with certain disabilities
- Anyone in an emergency situation
- Workers whose jobs will be unsafe if they are made to wear a mask
Could the mask mandate be extended again?
Dr Young said if the state recorded locally acquired cases of coronavirus outside of the 370 close contacts of the infected hotel quarantine cleaner, she may need to look at extending the current mandate.
“We would have to have community transmission out in the community … to have to continue it [beyond January 22],” she said.