NSW mask rules: Where do I still need to wear a mask? (May 2022)
Now is a great time for a refresher on the current rules surrounding masks and rapid antigen tests (RATs) in NSW.
Thanks to its vaccination program, New South Wales has been able to reach a point of "living with COVID". But that doesn't mean it's entirely a thing of the past. NSW continues to record thousands of cases every single day, and rapid antigen test and mask rules in NSW are still in place.
Mask rules in NSW
You must wear a face mask in New South Wales if you are over the age of 12 in the following settings:
- In airports
- At a public hospital or private health facility (including private hospitals and day procedure centres)
- In residential care facilities or hostels
- In indoor music festivals with more than 1,000 people
- On public transport and public transport waiting areas (including in taxis and rideshare services)
- At a cruise terminal
- On a domestic commercial aircraft (including when the aircraft is flying above New South Wales)
- If you are a household contact of a COVID-19 case and you are out of your home
You are not required to wear a mask if you have an illness, condition or disability that makes wearing a mask unsuitable. You may remove your mask in the above settings if you are:
- 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 the person's or another persons' health and safety, where clear enunciation or visibility of a person's mouth is essential and where the work is in an indoor area and no other person is in the area
- Asked to remove their mask for identity purposes
- In an emergency situation
- Providing goods and services and the person needs to remove their mask to provide those goods or services properly
- Doing exercise outside, in a gym or in a gym class
- In a dance class
- A resident at an aged care facility
- A guest in a hotel or motel and in their room
- In the process of getting married
- In a vehicle alone or with another person from their household
Buy masks in NSW
N95 Face Masks
Rapid Medical Supplies
Quality Medical Supplies
Different types of masks
However, with the rise of the extremely transmissible Omicron variant, both of these styles of masks have fallen out of favour. Most experts now believe that N95, KN95 and P2 masks are far better options to protect yourself and your community. All 3 mask styles are similar, forming a tight seal and filtering out 94–95% of particles.
RAT rules in NSW
Rapid antigen tests are an important tool in the fight against COVID-19 in NSW. If you return a positive RAT, you must register your test result via the Service NSW app or website and isolate for 7 days.
If you're symptomatic but return a negative RAT, the government's advice is to take another rapid test in 24 hours or have a PCR test. If your result is still negative, you should isolate until your symptoms are gone.
Should you receive a positive RAT result but have no symptoms, the government advises that you can take a PCR test as they offer more accurate results.
Buy RATs in NSW
- Fast results in 15–20 minutes
- Approved by the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods
- Accepts Apple Pay
- Reliable results for individuals suspected of having COVID-19
- Approved for use by the Australian government
- Free shipping available
- Accepts Apple Pay
How to use a RAT kit
Unsure as to how RAT kits work or need a refresher? NSW Health has produced this helpful, generic video. Keep in mind that instructions will be different from brand to brand.