Face masks, along with other COVID-safe behaviours, remain an important way to help reduce the risk of COVID-19.
When to wear a face mask
Face masks help protect you and the people around you from the spread of COVID-19.
Wearing a mask indoors is not mandatory but is still recommended, especially where physical distancing is not possible.
There may be different rules or advice about mask wearing depending on the risk level in Tasmania so keep up to date with risk levels.
- You should consider wearing a mask if you are at a higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19 or are in contact with people who are at a higher risk.
- Some high risk settings in Tasmania, such as hospitals, residential aged care and disability residential settings continue to require face masks to be worn.
- If you test positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms, you should wear a mask if you need to leave home.
- Keep a supply of masks at home for yourself and other household members to use.
Tips on wearing a face mask
- An effective mask must cover your nose and mouth and fit snugly under your chin, over the bridge of your nose and against the sides of your face.
- Change your mask if it becomes damp or dirty.
- Wash or sanitise your hands before putting on and taking off your mask.
- Avoid touching the front of your mask while wearing or removing it.
- Do not hang your mask around your neck or under your nose.
- Do not reuse single-use masks.
- Single use masks are not recyclable, so dispose of them in the general rubbish bin, not the recycling.
Medical or surgical masks
- Single use medical or surgical masks are usually pale blue or white
- Do not use masks with holes or a valve, as you will breathe out the virus if you have COVID-19.
- Buy single-use masks from reputable retail outlets, including chemists and supermarkets.
- P2/N95 single use masks work by filtering the air and particles and work best when worn with a tight seal to the face but are less effective when used by people with facial hair, as this breaks the seal.
- If you are unable to tolerate wearing this type of mask revert to using a surgical or cloth mask.
Reusable cloth masks
- Cloth masks are effective in reducing transmission of COVID-19 to other people when they are made and worn correctly.
- Cloth masks should have at least three layers of fabric.
- Cloth masks should be washed after every use.
- They can be washed in the washing machine with other clothes or hand washed using soap and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth.
- Dry the cloth mask in the clothes dryer or in fresh air before you re-use it.
- Reusing a cloth mask without washing can lead to self-contamination.
Other face coverings
- Face shields, scarves or bandanas are not a substitute for face masks as they do not offer the same amount of protection as a well-fitted mask.
A range of resources are available to help promote mask wearing requirements. These include posters and social media tiles.