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How wearing a face mask may help

Understand why wearing a face mask can help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

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Rules about wearing a face mask

You must wear a face mask indoors at all NSW airports and on domestic commercial flights into or out of NSW, including when the flight is landing at or taking off from the airport.

Learn more about the face mask rules.

Situations to wear a mask

COVID-19 spreads more easily indoors and in settings where you can’t physically distance.

It is really important that you carry a clean face mask with you at all times and wear it:

It is recommended that you wear a mask if you:

  • have any symptoms and are seeking medical care
  • are going to get tested
  • are in the same room as another person when you have symptoms or have been asked to self-isolate.

Masks help reduce community transmission

Wearing a mask helps to reduce community transmission. 

One way COVID-19 is spread is when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks near another person. 

The person infected with COVID-19 can be: 

  • asymptomatic (doesn’t show symptoms at all) 

  • pre-symptomatic (not yet showing symptoms) 

  • minimally symptomatic (showing mild symptoms). 

If a person is infected with COVID-19, a face mask helps to stop them from spreading COVID-19 when they cough, sneeze or speak. 

A mask is not a substitute for good hand hygiene and physical distancing 

The use of a mask and only a mask will not prevent infection.  

Protect yourself and others against COVID-19 by:  

Who should not wear a mask

Masks should not be worn by:

  • toddlers under 2 years of age and babies, as they are a choking and suffocation risk

  • children 12 years and under, as they do not need to wear a mask and may not be able to handle it safely

  • anyone who has trouble breathing wearing a mask

  • anyone who is unable to remove the mask themselves without assistance

  • people assisting people who are deaf or hard of hearing (and their contacts), as for some people with hearing disabilities seeing the mouth is essential for communication.

Some people in the community may also have issues with wearing masks due to other health conditions. Be respectful to others as reasons for not wearing a mask are not always obvious.

Masks protect other people 

The main value of wearing a mask is to protect other people. If used correctly, masks may prevent sick people from infecting others. 

If you are unknowingly infected, wearing a mask will reduce the chance that you pass COVID-19 on to others. 

Even if you are wearing a mask, stay 1.5 metres away from others, if possible. 


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