Victoria becomes final state to remove mask mandates for public transport
Victoria is the latest Australian state to scrap its mask mandates for public transport.
The state still recommends mask-wearing, but calls the decision to lift the mandate “a reasonable step to ensure national consistency.”
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Face masks will no longer be mandatory on public transport or in taxis, ride-sharing services and passenger vehicles from 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, September 22.
The decision was made with the number of COVID cases in mind, with Victorian Minister of Health and Ambulance Services Mary-Anne Thomas saying they are ‘well below their winter peak’ .
Thomas said she received advice from state health director Brett Sutton before announcing the change, but still strongly recommends wearing a mask on public transport in line with existing mask recommendations. interior.
Where physical distancing is not possible, and for anyone who may be immunocompromised or vulnerable to COVID, mask-wearing is still strongly encouraged.
“As we move through life with COVID, it is important that we ensure lasting behavior change in the community – and that means giving people the choice to wear masks to protect themselves and those around them,” said said Thomas.
“These sensible changes provide consistency to the community on mask-wearing requirements and I thank the Chief Medical Officer of Health for his guidance on this.”
Previously, Victorian passengers were required to wear masks unless they had a valid exemption, with a $100 penalty for dissenters.
The state reminded Victorians ahead of Thursday to keep up to date with COVID vaccinations and encouraged them to get tested if symptoms appear.
Mask requirements across Australia
Massive changes to mask requirements have been made in recent days across Australia.
Starting Thursday, all states will no longer mandate masks on public transportation, but each state recommends their use and still requires masks to be worn in certain sensitive settings.
Here’s what you need to know.
Mask requirements for public transport, carpools and domestic air travel were relaxed on September 9.
However, in “high-risk environments” such as hospitals, health clinics, correctional facilities, aged care facilities and disability services, masks are still mandatory.
People are “encouraged” to wear masks in crowded indoor spaces “to help protect vulnerable members of the community.”
The Sunshine State allowed public transport commuters – as well as rideshare passengers – to ditch their masks on Wednesday, September 21.
However, mandates exist for health care facilities, residential care for the elderly and accommodation for people with disabilities, according to Queensland Health.
People outside their homes should also wear a mask if they have symptoms of COVID or COVID, are awaiting COVID test results, are in close contact with a COVID case, or have a temperature of 37.5°C or more.
The territory updated its rules on Monday and now only requires people 12 or older to wear a mask in hospitals, health care facilities, seniors’ residences, facilities for the disabled, correctional facilities, homeless people and shelters for victims of domestic violence.
“You are no longer required to wear a face mask in most indoor settings in the Northern Territory, but wearing a mask is still strongly recommended,” NT Health says on its website.
“You must wear a mask when you cannot physically distance from others.”
The state has a specific list of settings where masks are required.
This includes health care services, pharmacies, disability care facilities and retirement homes.
It states that health care services include hospitals, medical practices, specialist medical services and practices, mental health services and practices, including drug and alcohol services, paramedical health services, complementary and alternative therapy services and practices, including Chinese medicine practitioners, dental services, pathology clinics, sexual health clinics, radiology services, disability and rehabilitation services.
Residents of the island state should only wear a mask if they have COVID-19 or are in close contact and outside their homes.
People coming out of their five days of COVID isolation must wear a mask in all indoor settings until day seven after their diagnosis.
Masks aren’t necessary in other situations, but authorities say some places such as hospitals may require people to wear masks.
“Please be respectful and take a mask with you in case you need to wear one,” Tasmania’s Department of Health says.
The mask mandate on public transportation and rideshares in the state will be removed from 11:59 p.m. on September 22.
Masks are also needed in “sensitive environments” such as hospitals.
New South Wales
With the public transport mandate scrapped on Wednesday, people in NSW over the age of 12 are only required to wear masks in public hospitals, private healthcare facilities and aged care homes.
Close COVID contacts are advised to wear masks indoors outside of their homes.
– With AAP and additional reporting by Warren Barnsley