Media Release

Anti-masker: Almost three million Australians won’t wear a face mask

        • 97% of Victorians said they are wearing face masks in public
        • South Australians least likely to wear a mask
        • Where to buy face masks online

18 August 2020, Sydney, Australia – Despite the prevalence of new cases of COVID-19 in recent weeks, some Australians still aren't on board with wearing a mask, new research by Finder, Australia's most visited comparison site, reveals.

The new survey of 1,000 respondents found that 15% of Aussies (not living in Victoria) said they won't wear face masks as a way to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

That's equivalent to 2.9 million Australians (not living in Victoria) not wearing a face mask if another wave of COVID-19 hits.

According to the World Health Organization, masks should be worn in public where social distancing is not possible to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

On 2 August the government made face coverings compulsory for everyone in Victoria whenever they leave their home. If Victorians don't comply with the rules, they could be fined $200.

The Finder data shows 97% of Victorians said they are wearing face masks in public, after it was made compulsory.

Kate Browne, managing editor at Finder, urges Australians to safeguard themselves – and others – by wearing a mask.

"While wearing a face mask is a minor inconvenience, it can have a major impact on stopping the spread of coronavirus and can help save lives; keep that in mind next time you head out.

"Until there's a vaccine we all need to be doing our bit to keep vulnerable communities safe."

Further Finder research shows that while face coverings aren't mandatory outside of Victoria, 8% of non-Victorians said they are already wearing masks in public.

"The stigmatisation of mask-wearing has changed drastically over the past few months, as many Australians have accepted we can all help to stop the spread of COVID-19."

The survey revealed that those in New South Wales are most likely to wear a mask (86%) in comparison to only 77% of South Australians.

"Coronavirus is unpredictable. Just because you're living in a state that's yet to experience a second wave doesn't mean you should let your guard down when it comes to hygiene and social distancing.

"Most Aussies are taking the threat of the pandemic seriously and acknowledge that wearing masks is an important component of containing the outbreak."

The second wave currently impacting Victoria and New South Wales has raised concerns about whether mask retailers can keep up with the demand.

Finder surveyed four face mask suppliers in Australia and all four downplayed any concerns over longer-term shortages.

"Most have ramped up their manufacturing and distribution and aren't worried about running low," said Browne.

"If you're struggling to find a mask at your local shops, head online. There are a number of online stores working hard to restock reusable face masks to keep up with demand."

Check out Finder's list of stores selling reusable masks, which it is regularly updating to reflect stock levels.

Finder also has state-specific lists for Victoria and New South Wales, which include some retailers that have local pick-up options.

Who is planning to wear a face mask?

I am already wearing one in public
Total 'Yes'

Source: Finder survey

Types of masks

Mask type
Filters air?
P2 masksNoYesYes
N95 masksNoYesYes
KN95 masksNoYesYes
Cloth masksYesNoNo
Surgical masksNoYesNo


Where to buy...

  • Face masks online. Current government advice is that face masks are now mandatory for everyone in Victoria, and suggested for those in NSW where social distancing is difficult. This guide is updated regularly by Finder to reflect which brands have masks in stock.
  • Hand sanitiser online. Look for alcohol-based hand sanitisers with 60-95% ethanol or isopropanol as they're indicated to be the most effective against viruses and bacteria, according to NPS MedicineWise.
  • Groceries online. Fortunately, supermarkets aren't the only place you can do your weekly shop now. Be sure to check prices across retailers so you know you're getting the best deal.


For further information


The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on's review pages for the current correct values.

About Finder

Every month 2.6 million unique visitors turn to Finder to save money and time, and to make important life choices. We compare virtually everything from credit cards, phone plans, health insurance, travel deals and much more.

Our free service is 100% independently-owned by three Australians: Fred Schebesta, Frank Restuccia and Jeremy Cabral. Since launching in 2006, Finder has helped Aussies find what they need from 1,800+ brands across 100+ categories.

We continue to expand and launch around the globe, and now have offices in Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Poland and the Philippines. For further information visit

12.6 million average unique monthly audience (June- September 2019), Nielsen Digital Panel

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