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ACT mask rules: Where do I need to wear a mask? (June 2022)

Posted: 19 May 2022 10:00 am

Here's what you need to know about ACT's mask rules, and its regulations associated with the usage of rapid antigen tests (RATs).

The ACT has been one of the less-affected areas of Australia throughout the pandemic, but with the explosion of the Omicron outbreak, the territory is currently experience hundreds of positive cases a day. This situation necessitates ongoing rules and restrictions regarding the use of protective face masks and RAT kits.

Here's what you need to know about regulations regarding face masks and RAT kits in the ACT. If you need to buy either of these items, check out our guides to purchasing N95 masks and RATs in the territory.

ACT mask rules

You must wear a face mask in the ACT if you are over the age of 12 in the following settings:

  • For household contacts aged 12 years and over in any indoor setting that is not their own home
  • On public transport, including a public bus, light rail vehicle, taxi, rideshare vehicle, hire car or demand response service vehicle, including drivers of vehicles, while transporting passengers
  • Staff and visitors entering a high-risk setting, which includes hospitals, residential aged care facilities, correctional centres, detention place or other places of custody, residential accommodation facilities that support people who require frequent, close personal care and who are vulnerable to severe disease
  • Staff who are providing a service to a person with a disability which is funded or provided: under the National Disability Insurance scheme under the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 of the Commonwealth; or by the ACT Government for the primary purpose of providing support to people living with disability, including the Special Needs Transport and Flexible Bus Service operated by the Transport Canberra and City Services Directorate
  • Staff who are working for an in-home and community aged care provider including an approved provider for whom a home care subsidy or a flexible care subsidy is payable under the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth), or service provider of a Commonwealth-funded aged care service, as defined in the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Act 2018, delivering services outside of a residential aged care facility setting
  • In Canberra Airport and on domestic flights into and out of Canberra Airport

You may remove your face mask for one of the following reasons:

  • When consuming food, drink or medicine
  • When communicating with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing and visibility of the mouth is essential for communication
  • If asked to remove a face mask to ascertain identity (for example, if asked by a police officer)
  • When the nature of a person's work means that wearing a face mask creates a risk to health and safety
  • If it is necessary for the proper provision of goods or services
  • When undertaking vigorous exercise
  • Because of an emergency
  • When it is required by law
  • If it is not safe in all the circumstances
  • In accordance with hospital policies or procedures
  • When performing work in an indoor space, but only when: in an office where no other people are present, when sitting or standing at a workstation in an office, and 1.5 metres away from any other person.

Buy masks in ACT

KN95 masks - 40% OFF
KN95 masks - 40% OFF

Quality Medical Supplies

Different types of masks

There are 3 main types of face masks. Surgical masks are single-use and are often bought in bulk quantities. Alternatively, cloth masks can be washed and reused, and can be made DIY.

However, with the rise of the extremely transmissible Omicron variant, both of these styles of masks are considered suboptimal. Most experts now believe that N95, KN95 and P2 masks are far better options to protect yourself, your family and your community. All 3 mask styles are very similar. Most importantly, they all form a tight seal and filter out 94–95% of particles.

RAT rules in the ACT

The ACT government officially recommends PCR tests for people with COVID symptoms and children under the age of 2. If you test positive on a RAT, you must register your result on this form and isolate for at least 7 days. ACT Health will contact you to let you know when you can leave isolation.

If you are a close contact, you should monitor closely for symptoms and minimise your movements in the community where possible. You should have a negative COVID test within the 48 hours prior to resuming your normal activity.

Buy RATs in the ACT

All prices are subject to change without prior notice.

How to use a RAT kit

Unsure as to how rapid antigen tests work or need a reminder? NSW Health has produced this helpful, generic video. Remember that instructions will vary from brand to brand.

Check out our guide to oral vs nasal RAT kits and our guide to mask rules throughout Australia.

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