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Public Health Face Mask Requirements Direction (No. 5)

Understanding this Direction

Information to help you understand what this Direction means.

Summary

Effective from: 6pm AEST 4 March 2022

Posted: 4 March 2022

Direction from Chief Health Officer in accordance with emergency powers arising from the declared public health emergency

Public Health Act 2005 (Qld)

Section 362B

On 29 January 2020, under the Public Health Act 2005, the Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services made an order declaring a public health emergency in relation to coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The public health emergency area specified in the order is for ‘all of Queensland’. Its duration has been extended by regulation to 26 March 2022 and may be further extended.

Further to this declaration, l, Dr John Gerrard, Chief Health Officer, reasonably believe it is necessary to give the following direction pursuant to the powers under s 362B of the Public Health Act 2005 to assist in containing, or to respond to, the spread of COVID-19 within the community.

Guidance

This direction applies to require people in any part of Queensland to a wear face mask in particular circumstances. This direction operates in conjunction with and does not override the Mandatory Face Masks Direction (No.3) or its successor.

Citation

  1. This Public Health Direction may be referred to as the Public Health Face Mask Requirements Direction (No.5).

Revocation

  1. This Public Health Direction revokes the Public Health Face Mask Requirements Direction (No.4) made on 2 January 2022, from 6pm AEST 4 March 2022.

Commencement and application

  1. This Direction commences from 6pm AEST 4 March until the end of the declared public health emergency, unless this Direction is earlier revoked or replaced.

  2. To the extent of any inconsistency between this Direction and another public health direction made under section 362B of the Public Health Act 2005, other than the Mandatory Face Masks Direction (No.3) or its successor, the Isolation for Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 and Management of Close Contacts Direction (No. 5) or its successor, or Workers in a healthcare setting (COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements) Direction (No. 3) or its successor, this Direction prevails.

PART 1 – DIRECTION — FACE MASKS

  1. A person must wear a face mask covering the person’s nose and mouth at all times when the person is:

    1. on, or waiting at, public transport infrastructure; or

      Example – when on a train or waiting at a train platform, or on a public or passenger ferry or waiting at a public or passenger ferry terminal, when on a public bus or waiting at a public bus stop.

    2. in a commercial passenger vehicle, or waiting for a commercial passenger vehicle in a designated outdoor space that is not a residence; or

      Example – waiting for a taxi at a taxi rank, waiting for a rideshare or commercial shuttle at a designated pick-up area, while travelling in a taxi, rideshare or commercial shuttle.

    3. in an indoor space that is, or is part of, a:

      1. residential aged care facility; or

      2. shared disability accommodation service; or

      3. hospital or a healthcare setting where face-to-face services are provided to patients, clients and others accessing healthcare; or

      4. corrective services facility; or a

      5. detention centre; or

    4. outside their personal place of residence or temporary accommodation on a permanent or temporary basis if the person has a temperature equal to or higher than 37.5 degrees or has any symptoms consistent with COVID-19; or

    5. outside their personal place of residence or temporary accommodation on a permanent or temporary basis if the person has undertaken a COVID-19 PCR test and has not yet received the results of that test.

      Note: Part 1 paragraph (5)(e) does not limit any exemption that applies for a person waiting for a result from a routine surveillance testing obligation

    6. is required to do so in accordance with any other Public Health Directions in effect under section 362B of the Public Health Act 2005; or

      Example – under the Mandatory Face Masks Direction (No. 3) or its successors, a person must wear a face mask at all times while at a Queensland airport or while on a domestic commercial aircraft flying in Queensland airspace.

      Example – a person diagnosed with COVID-19 or a person who is informed or becomes aware they are a close contact of a diagnosed person must comply with any face mask requirements included in the Isolation for Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 and Management of Close Contacts Direction (No. 5) or its successor.

      Example – a person who arrives in Queensland and who has recently been in a place outside Australia must comply with any face mask requirements including in the Quarantine for International Arrivals Direction (No. 22).

    7. is directed to do so by an emergency officer (public health).

    Note – For further information on the use of face masks, please refer to the Queensland Health website as updated from time to time: https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/protect-yourself-others/face-masks

PART 2 – EXEMPTIONS

  1. The requirement to wear a face mask under paragraph 5 does not apply to:

    1. an infant or child under 12 years; or

    2. a person who has a physical or mental health illness or condition, or disability, which makes wearing a face mask unsuitable.

      Examples – persons who have obstructed breathing, a serious skin condition on their face, an intellectual disability, a mental health illness, or who have experienced trauma.

  2. Without limiting paragraph 5, a person who is required to wear a face mask may remove the face mask:

    1. if the person is communicating with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing and visibility of the mouth is essential for communication; or

    2. if the nature of a person’s work or education means that clear enunciation or visibility of the mouth is essential; or

      Example – a speech therapist in a hospital or healthcare setting, a train driver or conductor making announcements over a loudspeaker.

    3. if the person is consuming food, drink or medicine; or

      Example: a person must wear a mask when entering and walking through a cafe located in a hospital but may remove the mask while eating and drinking in the cafe.

      Example - when visiting a residential aged care facility, a visitor must wear a face mask while seated in the resident’s room, even where there are no other people in the room but may remove the face mask while eating and drinking in the room.

    4. if the person is a patient undergoing healthcare to the extent that such healthcare requires that no face mask be worn while being provided; or

      Example – while providing healthcare to a patient, a doctor determines that the patient should not wear a face mask while undergoing a particular face-to-face based on the nature of the face-to-face service and the impacts on the patient’s health and wellbeing.

    5. if the person is asked to remove the face mask to ascertain the person’s identity; or

      Example – a person may be asked by staff or security at a residential aged care facility, a shared disability accommodation service, a corrective services facility, a detention centre, a hospital or a healthcare setting to remove a face mask to ascertain.

    6. if wearing a face mask would create any other serious risk to that person’s life or health and safety, including if determined through work Occupational Health and Safety guidelines; or

      Example – a person who is undertaking work where a mask could become tangled in machinery.

    7. in the event of an emergency; or

      Example – a person escaping a fire or a risk of harm related to domestic and family violence or sexual violence.

    8. if required or authorised by law; or

    9. if continuing to wear the mask is not safe in the immediate circumstances.

      Example – a person who is wearing a mask but finds it obstructing their vision when they are bending down to look at items on a lower shelf in a pharmacy may remove their mask to avoid losing their balance by having their vision obstructed.

  3. Without limiting paragraph 5(a), and subject to any policies or requirements of the public transport operator, a person who is required to wear a face mask may remove the face mask if:

    1. any of the circumstances in paragraphs 7(a)-(i) apply to the person; or

    2. the person is an employee or contractor operating or otherwise working in or on the public transport infrastructure and the person not interacting directly with public passengers because the person is:

      1. on public transport infrastructure that has no public passengers on board; or

      2. in a space of the public transport infrastructure that is not co-located with public passengers; and

      3. the person can maintain physical distance from other employees or contractors operating or otherwise working on the public transport infrastructure.

  4. Without limiting paragraph 5(b), a person who is required to wear a face mask may remove the face mask if:

    1. any of the circumstances in paragraphs 7(a)-(i) apply to the person; or

    2. the person is the driver of a commercial passenger vehicle; and

      1. the person is alone in the commercial passenger vehicle.

  5. Without limiting paragraph 5(c), and subject to any policies or requirements of a facility or service, a person who is required to wear a face mask may remove the face mask:

    1. if any of the circumstances in paragraphs 7(a)-(i) apply to the person; or

    2. at a residential aged care facility, where the person is a resident of the residential aged care facility; or

    3. at a shared disability accommodation service, where the person is a resident of the shared disability accommodation service; or

    4. at a hospital, where the person is an inpatient of the hospital; or

    5. while healthcare is being delivered as a face-to-face service at a personal place of residence or temporary accommodation, where the person is a resident; or

    6. at a corrective services facility, where the person is a prisoner of the corrective services facility; or

    7. at a detention centre, where the person is a detainee of the detention centre.

      Example - A person who is receiving healthcare in their home, such as healthcare provided by a community health nurse or aged care worker, does not need to wear a mask in their home. However, the healthcare worker delivering the healthcare is required to comply with the face mask requirements of other public health directions.

    8. if the person is an employee or contractor of, or student undertaking placement at, the facility or service; and

      1. is undertaking work in a space within the facility that is not co-located with anyone other than employees, contractors, or students; and

      2. is seated or standing at a workstation or table; and

      3. can maintain physical distancing from other employees, contractors, or students.

    9. Example – A person working in a hospital who is working alone in an office or is sitting or standing at a workstation in an office where there are no face-to-face services provided to patients, does not need to wear a mask.

      Example – Workers who move around the workplace or who have frequent contact with people (such as at a reception, or sales or information desk, or a shared workstation in a hospital ward where there are patients) must wear a face mask.

    10. if the person is assisting in, or undertaking, a disaster recovery or clean-up activity at the facility or service.

      Example – a person cleaning mud and flood debris as part of disaster recovery work in a healthcare setting may remove their face mask while undertaking that activity.

  6. Notwithstanding the exemptions included in Part 2 of this Direction, a person who is a close contact who is permitted to return to work to perform a critically essential role is subject to all other requirements of the Isolation for Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 and Management of Close Contacts Direction (No. 5) or its successors, including the face mask requirements.

    Example - a person who is a close contact who has been provided with an exemption to return to work as a critically essential worker to undertake disaster recovery or clean-up activities is required to comply with the face mask requirements of other public health directions relating to close contacts and must wear a surgical face mask while in an indoor space and in an outdoor space when unable to physically distance from other people.

    Example – a person who works in a residential aged care facility who is a close contact who has been provided with an exemption to return to work to perform a critically essential role is required to comply with the face mask requirements of other public health directions relating to close contacts and must wear a surgical face mask while in an indoor space, even if working alone in an office, and in an outdoor space when unable to physically distance from other people.

    Example – a person who works as a public bus driver who is a close contact who has been provided with an exemption to return to work to perform a critically essential role is required to comply with the face mask requirements of other public health directions relating to close contacts and must wear a surgical face mask while in an indoor space, even if they are no passengers on the bus, and in an outdoor space when unable to physically distance from other people.

  7. A person who is otherwise required to wear a face mask removes their face mask due to a circumstance in Part 2, the person must resume wearing a face mask as soon as practicable after the circumstance ends.

PART 3 – OTHER MATTERS

Definitions used in this Direction are in Schedule 1.

PART 4 – PENALTIES

A person to whom the direction applies commits an offence if the person fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with the direction.

Section 362D of the Public Health Act 2005 provides:

Failure to comply with public health directions

  • A person to whom a public health direction applies must comply with the direction unless the person has a reasonable excuse.
  • Maximum penalty—100 penalty units or 6 months imprisonment.

Dr John Gerrard
Chief Health Officer

4 March 2022

Published on the Queensland Health website at 6:00pm AEST

SCHEDULE 1 – DEFINITIONS

For the purposes of this Public Health Direction:

Close contact has the same meaning as in the Isolation for Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 and Management of Close Contacts Direction (No. 5) and means a person who is a household member at the time the diagnosed person undertakes the COVID-19 test that produces a positive test result, or a household-like contact of a diagnosed person.

Co-located means using shared facilities and staff and visitors of the business, activity or undertaking move freely between the co-located facilities, functions or settings.

Commercial passenger vehicle means a taxi, rideshare or commercial shuttle service.

Corrective services facility has the same meaning as in the Corrective Services Act 2006.

COVID-19 PCR test means an oropharyngeal and deep nasal swab for a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test approved for use in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration to detect whether a person has the COVID-19 virus.

Note: A COVID-19 PCR test does not include a self-test

Critically essential role has the same meaning as in the Isolation for Diagnosed Cases of COVID-19 and Management of Close Contacts Direction (No. 5).

Detention centre has the same meaning as in the Youth Justice Act 1992.

Disaster recovery or clean-up activities means the activities required immediately following a disaster for safety and to secure property, including for example rubbish removal, cleaning, fire, water and electrical safety activities, and emergency repairs.

Emergency officer (public health) means an emergency officer appointed under the Public Health Act 2005.

Face mask means a flat surgical mask, P2/N95 mask or a cloth mask with three layers that covers the nose and mouth (but does not include a face shield) or other type of face mask required to be worn by a person to comply with any personal protective equipment guidelines and/or COVID safe plans for a facility or service.

Example – a scarf or bandana is not a face mask.

Example – a facility or service may require people to wear a single use surgical mask rather than a reusable mask.

Face-to-face service means a service that is provided where all the participants are physically in the same place. This is in contrast to virtual services, such as telehealth, where participants participate from separate locations.

Healthcare has the same meaning as in the Workers in a healthcare setting (COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements) Direction (No. 3).

Healthcare setting means a public or private health facility where healthcare is primarily accessed via face-to-face services provided to residents, patients, clients and others.

Examples of a healthcare setting include:

  1. public hospitals, public health clinics, ambulance services, patient transport services, and other health services; or

  2. private health facilities, such as private hospitals or day procedure centres, or specialist outpatient services; or

  3. residential aged care facilities; or

  4. shared disability accommodation services; or

  5. private provider facilities, such as general practitioners, private nurse offices and allied health consulting offices, pharmacies, optometrists, dental clinics, medical imaging providers and private pathology centres; or

  6. not for profit health organisations providing public healthcare under a service agreement with any State or Commonwealth agency, including an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Service; or

  7. Non-Government Organisations (NGO) delivering healthcare services, for example Alcohol and other Drugs residential rehabilitation and treatment services; healthcare services on a Hospital and Health Service campus, for example, breast screening services, integrated mental health Step-Up-Step Down models; or

  8. Outreach services in other settings provided by the facilities in paragraphs (a) to (d), including (but not limited to) healthcare services delivered to a client or patient in their home; or

  9. Australian Red Cross Lifeblood collection centres; or

  10. disability support services delivered to a client patient in their home;

  11. aged care services funded by the Australian Government and delivered to a client or patient in their home; or

  12. mobile services such as mobile dental clinic van or mobile health promotion van.

A person solely providing healthcare services from their home or another location via telehealth and who is not providing any in-person services is not considered in-scope for the purposes of this Direction.

Where a healthcare is provided within part of an indoor space that is primarily accessed by people for purposes other than healthcare, the Direction applies only to the part of the indoor space where the healthcare is provided. For example, where a physiotherapist operates within a gym, the Direction applies to the space where the physiotherapist is providing the face-to-face services, but not to the other spaces in the gym.

Hospital means:

  1. a hospital, as defined in schedule 2 to the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011; or

  2. a private health facility, as defined in section 8 of the Private Health Facilities Act 1999; or

  3. a multi-purpose service, as defined in section 104 of the Subsidy Principles 2014 made under section 96-1 of the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth).

Inpatient means a patient in a hospital who undergoes a formal admission process to receive treatment and/or care provided over a period of time.

Indoor space means an area, room or premises that is or are substantially enclosed by a roof and walls, regardless of whether the roof or walls or any part of them are:

  1. permanent or temporary; or

  2. open or closed.

Outdoor space means a space that is not an indoor space.

Patient means a person accessing healthcare for the purposes of treating, maintaining, improving or restoring a person’s health and wellbeing.

Note - includes healthcare provided in hospitals and other healthcare settings. For hospitals, includes both inpatients and outpatients.

Personal place of residence means a residence where the person ordinarily resides.

Example: a person rents a unit for two days each week in the city for work and has a home on the coast where they reside the remainder of the week. Both residences are considered a personal place of residence and the person does not need to wear a mask in those residences.

Premises has the same meaning as in Schedule 2 of the Public Health Act 2005, and also includes land and vessels.

Public transport infrastructure has the same meaning as in the Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Act 1994.

Public transport operator means an operator accredited to provide a public passenger service, in accordance with the Transport Operations (Passenger Transport) Act 1994.

Residence means premises used, or intended to be used, as a dwelling or mainly as a dwelling, and includes the land on which the residence is situated, and includes:

  1. a single detached dwelling;

  2. each of one or more attached dwellings that are separated by a common wall;

    Examples for paragraph (b) — villa unit, townhouse, terrace house, row house, unit in an apartment block.

  3. a manufactured home as defined in section 10 of the Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003;

  4. a caravan as defined in section 7 of the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008;

  5. any other building or structure situated on the same land as the premises or dwelling.

    Examples for paragraph (e) – shed, pool house, carport, granny flat.

Residential aged care facility means a facility at which accommodation, and personal care or nursing care or both, are provided to a person in respect of whom a residential care subsidy or a flexible care subsidy is payable under the Aged Care Act 1997 of the Commonwealth, or funding is provided under the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program.

Resident of a facility means a person who ordinarily or temporarily resides at the facility or residence.

Shared disability accommodation service means a service, including the forensic disability service under the Forensic Disability Act 2011, where:

  1. four or more people with disability reside with people who are not members of their family; and

  2. the residents share enclosed common living areas within the facility whether inside or outside, and

  3. the residents are provided with disability supports within the facility.

Symptoms consistent with COVID-19 means fever or history of fever, symptoms of acute respiratory infection (cough, shortness of breath, sore throat), headache, loss of smell, loss of taste, runny nose, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting or fatigue.

Temporary accommodation means a private room or premises a person is staying in temporarily, but does not include communal areas of an accommodation facility that other persons separate to the person’s booking may access.

Example: a person does not need to wear a face mask in a hotel room or holiday apartment but would need to wear a face mask in indoor communal areas of the facility unless otherwise excluded by this Direction.

Last updated: 4 March 2022