Face masks

Find information about wearing a face mask in Victoria.


Face masks update

  • From 11.59pm, Sunday 17 January 2021, face masks will no longer be mandatory in all public indoor settings.
  • These requirements are in line with settings that were in place at Christmas time.
  • Face masks continue to be mandatory in the following locations:
    • on public transport
    • when riding in a ride share or taxi
    • in large retail stores (over 2000 sqm), such as department stores, electronics stores, furniture stores, hardware stores or supermarkets
    • inside shopping centres, including the retail stores inside shopping centres, such as clothing stores
    • inside indoor markets
    • on domestic flights to and from Victoria
    • at airports
    • in hospitals
    • when working in or visiting hospitals and care facilities.
  • Additionally, from Monday 18 January 2021 face masks will no longer be required to be worn in offices.
  • You must always carry a face mask with you when you leave home unless you have a lawful reason not to.
  • It is strongly recommended you wear one whenever you cannot keep 1.5 metres distance from others.

Additional information

  • If you have coronavirus (COVID-19) or are a close contact and you need to leave home (or the place where you are undertaking isolation or quarantine) for a permitted reason (for example in a medical emergency) then you must wear a fitted face mask.
  • If you have any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) you must wear a fitted face mask when you leave home (for example to get tested).
  • If you are awaiting test results for coronavirus (COVID-19) and you had the test done because you have symptoms, have been otherwise required to quarantine or self-isolate, or are currently experiencing symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) but you need to leave home (for example to receive urgent medical care) then you must wear a fitted face mask.
  • In situations where you must wear a mask, you must wear a fitted face mask that covers the nose and mouth. This means that face shields, bandanas or scarves or loose snoods, or loose neck gaiters on their own are not considered a sufficient face covering.
  • A cloth face mask with three layers or a surgical mask is recommended by the Chief Health Officer, as it provides the best protection for you and others.
  • There are a number of lawful excuses for not wearing a face mask in settings where a face mask is mandatory such as illness or disability. Other reasons a person may choose not to wear a mask include where the person is:
    • under 12 years of age 
    • a student at a primary school or outside school hours care
    • in the process of being married
    • a professional sportsperson when training or competing
    • engaged in any strenuous physical exercise
    • receiving a service where it is not reasonably practicable to receive that service wearing a face covering.
  • Download a poster of what face masks you can and can't wear (PDF)
  • Download a poster of what face masks you can and can't wear (Word).

Reviewed 24 January 2021

Coronavirus Victoria

24/7 Coronavirus Hotline

If you suspect you may have coronavirus (COVID-19) call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days.

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

Was this page helpful?