SA mask rules: Where do I still need to wear a mask? (June 2022)
Now is the perfect time to catch up on South Australia's mask rules, and protocols regarding the use of rapid antigen tests (RATs).
Historically one of the most COVID-free states, South Australia has largely recovered from the shock of thousands of daily cases. But that doesn't mean there aren't still rules and restrictions to follow when it comes to protective face masks and RAT kits.
Here's what you need to know about South Australia's mask rules and restrictions regarding the usage of RATs. If you need to buy either of these items, check out our guides to purchasing RATs and N95 masks in South Australia.
Mask rules in South Australia
You must wear a face mask in South Australia if you are over the age of 12 in the following settings:
- Disability care facilities
- Residential aged care facilities
- Prisons, correctional facilities or training centres
- Public or private hospitals
- Health care services
- Pathology collection centres
- Passenger transport services (including taxis, rideshare and other hire or charter vehicle arrangements)
- Airports and airplanes
- If you are a close contact leaving the house within 7 days of exposure
In schools, face masks are required for all adults (including visitors), except impeding the ability to teach. Masks are also required for students in years 7 to 12 and are strongly recommended for students in years 3 to 6.
Exceptions to these rules include:
- People who may have a physical or mental health illness or condition, or disability, which makes wearing a face covering unsuitable, including persons with obstructed breathing, a serious skin condition of the face, an intellectual disability, a mental health condition or persons who have experienced trauma
- People communicating with those who are deaf or hard of hearing and visibility of the mouth is essential for communication
- People who wear hearing aids of a style that makes wearing masks difficult and where an alternative style of mask (with ties rather than ear loops) is not available
- When consuming food, drink or medicine
- Where removal of the mask is lawfully required for identification purposes
- Children under 12 years of age
- People required to wear other face coverings or protective equipment, such as a dust respirator mask, this counts as wearing a mask
Buy masks in South Australia
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 South Australia
South Australia recommends the use of rapid antigen tests in a number of circumstances. If you are a close contact and have no COVID symptoms, you will be provided with a package of rapid antigen tests to be used on 5 days throughout your isolation period, with 24 hours between tests and a mandatory test on day 7. You must also not attend certain "sensitive settings" for up to 14 days after your exposure date.
RATs can also be used before entering high-risk settings, before going out or to work, and to provide general reassurance. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, the state government's advice is to get a PCR test, whether or not you are a close contact. If you return a positive result on a RAT, you must register your result on this form, or by calling the SA COVID-19 Information Line on 1800 253 787.
Should you test positive on a PCR or a RAT, you must isolate for 7 days from the date of your result, and inform your close contacts. If you still have acute symptoms on day 7 of your isolation, you must remain in isolation until 24 hours after your symptoms have resolved.
On days 8 to 10 following the conclusion of your isolation (day 0 is the day you initially tested positive) you should:
- Wear a mask when around other people.
- Not visit high risk settings (aged care, hospitals, disability care, correctional services).
- If you work in a high risk setting, advise your employer before returning to work.
- Continue to follow this advice on days 8 to 14 if you have a weakened immune system (transplant recipient or receiving chemotherapy).
South Australia new COVID penalties
Keep in mind, the South Australian government is currently in the process of instituting laws allowing for harsh penalties for anyone found to be breaching rules regarding masks, vaccination and isolation. Punishments range up to $20,000 in fines and 2 years imprisonment.
Buy RATs in South Australia
- Fast results in 15 minutes
- Detects Omicron variant
- 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.