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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.

COVIDSafe Summer – new restrictions apply from 11:59pm, Sunday 17 January 2021

From 11:59pm on Sunday 17 January face masks will no longer be mandatory in all public indoor settings.

  • Face masks continue to be mandatory in airports, hospitals, large retail stores over 2000 sqm, shopping centres, indoor markets, in taxis and rideshares, and on public transport.
  • You should 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.

Find out more about COVIDSafe Summer restrictions.

There are a number of lawful excuses for not wearing a face mask.

For information about face masks, see our Face masks page.

Teachers, educators and education support staff

Teachers and education support staff:

  • It is not compulsory for teachers, educators and carers to wear face mask while teaching or caring for children . Face masks can interfere with their ability to clearly communicate with students or children in their care. Teachers, educators and carers can choose to wear face masks if they wish when teaching or providing care for children.  

Students

  • It is strongly recommended students aged 12 and over wear a face mask if they are learning or doing onsite supervision when they cannot keep 1.5 metres distance from others unless they are attending primary school. 
  • Students under the age of 12, or those 12 and over who are attending primary school do not have to wear a face mask.  

Parents and carers

It is recommended parents and carers wear face masks outdoors 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.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline

The Department of Education and Training’s coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline is available from 8am - 6pm, 7 days a week (excluding public holidays), phone 1800 338 663.

Do children need to wear a face mask?

  • Individuals over the age of 12 must wear a face mask in public indoor settings such as; public transport, ride share and taxis, and in shopping centres and other retail settings.
  • For individuals over the age of 12, face masks are strongly recommended when outdoors and when at least 1.5 metres distance 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.

There are a number of lawful excuses for not wearing a face mask. For information about face masks, see our Face masks page.

Do teachers/ early learning/ day care/ kinder need to wear face masks? 

It is not compulsory for teachers, educators and carers to wear face masks while teaching, interacting with or caring for children as they can interfere with their ability to clearly communicate with students. Teachers, educators and carers can choose to wear face masks if they wish when in the classroom/ facility or when teaching or providing care for children. 

Face masks are also strongly recommended outdoors where at least 1.5 metres of physical distance cannot be maintained.

Do students at schools need to wear a face mask? 

No, it is no longer mandatory to wear face masks unless on public transport, ride share and taxis, and in shopping centres and other retail settings. You must carry a face mask with you at all times when you leave the home. 

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

Actions for schools

Actions for early childhood education and care services 

  • Health and safety guidance to support early childhood education and care services to continue to provide safe teaching and learning environments for staff and children is available on the Department of Education and Training website

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 17 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.

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