Where there is low community transmission of COVID-19, wearing a mask in the community when you are well is not generally recommended.
However, where there is significant community transmission (as determined by jurisdictional public health authorities), you may choose, or be required to, wear a mask. If physical distancing is difficult to maintain, for example on public transport, covering your face with a mask can provide some extra protection.
While a mask can be used as an extra precaution, you must continue to:
- stay at home if unwell
- maintain physical distance (more than 1.5 metres) from other people, when out
- avoid large gatherings and crowded indoor spaces
- practise hand and respiratory hygiene.
The main value of wearing a mask is to protect other people. If the person wearing the mask is unknowingly infected, wearing a mask will reduce the chance of them passing the virus on to others.
For people at increased risk of severe COVID-19 themselves because of older age or chronic illness, physical distancing is most important. If you cannot maintain physical distance, wearing a mask is an important protective measure.
Source: Australian Government Department of Health 18 November 2020