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Face masks - study and school

Information about wearing face masks at schools, early childhood education centres and places of study in Victoria.

Face masks summary

  • From 11:59pm on Friday 9 April 2021, Victoria has further relaxed its COVIDSafe settings. These changes are designed to balance getting Victorians back to doing the things they love while keeping in place measures to protect all that Victorians have worked so hard for.
  • Face masks are no longer mandatory in schools, early childhood education and care services, and places of private study.
  • Face masks are mandatory for people aged 12 years and older on public transport and when in taxis or ride share vehicles or touring vehicles. This includes travelling to and from school on public transport.
  • Face masks are recommended when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Students under the age of 12 do not have to wear face masks.
  • For information about face masks, see our Face masks page.

Teachers and education support staff

Teachers and education support staff:

  • will not be required to wear face masks while teaching, but those who wish to do so, can.
  • are strongly recommended to wear face masks if physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Students

  • Individuals aged 12 years and over must carry a face mask, unless they have a lawful reason not to.
  • Face masks are mandatory for people aged 12 years and older on public transport and when in taxis or ride share vehicles or touring vehicles. This includes travelling to and from school on public transport. 

Exemptions

Some students and staff are exempt from these requirements. This includes:

  • students who attend specialist schools, who are over the age of 12 and are unable to wear a face mask due to the nature of their disability.
  • students or staff who have a medical condition, such as problems with their breathing, a serious skin condition on the face, a disability or a mental health condition.

Read about specific exemptions from these requirements.

Parents and carers

It is recommended parents and carers wear face masks where physical distancing cannot be maintained, for example at a congested school drop off or pick up.

Use of personal protective equipment in education

School staff should refer to guidance for the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in education to determine when additional PPE is required. Education login is required.

COVID-19 hotline

The Department of Education and Training’s COVID-19 hotline is available from 8:30am - 5:00pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays), phone 1800 338 663.

Do children need to wear a face mask?

  • Individuals over the age of 12 must carry a face mask, unless they have a lawful reason not to.
  • Face masks are mandatory for people aged 12 years and older on public transport and when in taxis or ride share vehicles or touring vehicles. This includes travelling to and from school on public transport.
  • For individuals over the age of 12, face masks are recommended when physical distancing cannot be maintained. 
  • Children under the age of 12 years do not have to wear a face mask but individual families can make their own decisions regarding their children. 
  • Children who are two years old and under should never wear a face mask or covering due to choking and strangulation risks. 
  • Children who are aged 12 and over who are attending primary school do not need to wear a face mask at school.

Posters for your service

We have developed a range of posters for services to display which help explain face masks and other risk-mitigation strategies: These include

The Department of Health and Human Services website has additional advice about face masks, including:

Worksafe advice about face masks in the workplace

The Victorian Chief Health Officer has directed that employers must take reasonable steps to ensure that employees wear face masks when mandatory when working at the employer’s premises.

As the department is not the owner or employer of early childhood services, it is up to each provider to meet these obligations.

For more information, visit   WorkSafe.

Sourcing face masks

If you are having short-term difficulty sourcing face masks for staff, we may be able to provide you with a number of single-use face masks while you establish supply. Email early.childhood.implementation@edumail.vic.gov.au to request assistance.

Funded kindergarten providers will be given priority.

Reviewed 19 April 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.

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