New face mask rules have come into effect over the past several days, as Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales grapple with growing outbreaks of COVID-19.

Download the NRA Guide to Face Masks


Face mask rules in Queensland

Effective from 11 January to 22 January across Greater Brisbane (including Logan, Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands), face masks are mandatory at the following venues (except when eating or drinking):

  • Shopping centres, supermarkets and retail outlets
  • Indoor markets
  • Hospitals and aged care facilities
  • Churches and places of worship
  • Libraries
  • Indoor recreational facilities (including cinemas, art galleries and gyms)
  • Indoor workplaces where you cannot socially distance
  • On public transport, taxis and ride share services
  • In airports and travelling on planes.

It is recommended you wear a mask when outdoors if you are unable to stay more than 1.5m distance from other people, such as busy walkways and thoroughfares. Children under 12 years and people affected by a medical condition or disability are exempt.

Learn more about the Greater Brisbane directives


Face mask rules in New South Wales

Effective from 4 January 2021 across Greater Sydney (including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains), face masks are mandatory in the following indoor settings:

  • shopping (retail, supermarkets and shopping centres)
  • on public/shared transport and waiting areas for public/shared transport
  • indoor entertainment (including cinemas and theatres)
  • places of worship
  • hair and beauty premises
  • visiting an aged care facility.

Face masks are also mandatory for all staff in hospitality venues, gaming areas in licensed premises (including casinos) and for patrons using gaming services. Non-compliance with this directive garners a $200 fine.

Learn more about the Greater Sydney directives


Face mask rules in Victoria

Victoria has also made fitted face masks mandatory. From 31 December, 2020 you must wear a fitted face mask when you are in public indoor spaces unless you have a lawful reason not to. This includes when visiting places such as:

  • shopping centres, supermarkets, retail outlets and indoor markets
  • hospitals and aged care facilities
  • restaurants and cafes, except when you are eating or drinking
  • churches and places of worship
  • libraries
  • indoor recreational facilities and gyms
  • indoor workplaces.
Learn more about the Victoria directives


What type of face covering is best for your team?

If your business is ordering a large quantity of masks for team members (not just in Victoria or New South Wales), the National Retail Association’s Technical Standards Committee of Retail Product Safety and Quality Assurance specialists have provided tips from their recent experiences to help you navigate procurement challenges.

The tips include information on:

  • What masks may be best for your team;
  • the importance of providing safe use and removal procedures to staff;
  • things to look out for when sourcing masks such as test reports;
  • CCCMHPIE white lists for exporting PPR from China; and,
  • relevant standards for masks.

Note: these tips are based on real-world experience of Aussie retailers and not designed to replace any official government advice.


Download the NRA Guide to Face Masks


Get involved

The National Retail Association Technical Standards Committee brings together product quality and compliance specialists from key retailers to proactively engage on issues of product safety and technical standards in an ever-changing regulatory environment. Members who are interested in being involved, please contact David Stout at [email protected].