Exceptions for not wearing a face covering
Lawful excuses or exceptions for not wearing a face covering
A face covering is not required in some circumstances including:
- Infants and children under the age of 12 years.
- A person who is affected by a relevant medical condition, including problems with their breathing, a serious condition of the face, a disability or a mental health condition.
- Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
- Persons for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk to that person’s health and safety related to their work, as determined through OH&S guidelines.
- Persons whose professions require clear enunciation or visibility of their mouth. This includes teaching or live broadcasting.
- Professional sportspeople when training or competing.
- If you are working on your own property with members of your household, but no staff or contractors are on site.
- When you are doing any exercise or physical activity where you are out of breath or puffing. Examples include jogging or running, but not walking. You must carry a face covering on you and wear it when you finish exercising.
- When directed to remove the face covering to ascertain identity.
- When you are travelling in a vehicle by yourself or with other members of your household.
- When consuming food, drink or medication, including when seated at a restaurant where permitted.
- When undergoing dental treatment or other medical care to the extent that the procedure requires that no face covering may be worn.
- During emergencies.
You must carry a face covering with you when leaving home, even if you don’t need to wear it while undertaking your current activity. For example, you can take your face covering off to eat or while you are running, but you must carry it with you and put it back on when you finish.
I have a medical condition that prevents me from wearing a face covering, do I need a medical certificate stating I don’t need to wear a face covering?
You do not need a medical certificate stating that you have a lawful reason for not wearing a face covering. If you have a lawful reason for not wearing a face covering, you do not need to apply for an exemption or permit.
If you are stopped by police, they will ask you to confirm the lawful reason you are not wearing a face covering.
Do I have to wear a face covering if I have asthma?
People with asthma or people who have a medical condition that includes problems with their breathing, do not have to wear face coverings.
Do people with a disability have to wear a face covering?
Yes, people with a disability must wear a face covering unless it is unsuitable to do so for medical, physical, communication or other individual risk factors.