PUBLIC Update – 23 November 2020
Mask Use during exercise
Do I have to wear a face mask while exercising?
If you are doing exercise or physical activity where you are out of breath or puffing, such as jogging or running, you do not need to wear a face mask. You do have to carry a face mask with you so you can wear it before or after exercising and are unable to maintain physical distance, unless you have a lawful exception.
You can choose to wear a face shield on its own while undertaking strenuous exercise.
Requirements Throughout Victoria
From 11:59pm Sunday 22 November, there are changes to the rules around the wearing of face masks.
- Face masks are no longer required when you are outdoors and where it is possible to stay more than 1.5 metres away from people.
- Use of face masks remain mandatory if you are unable to stay further than 1.5 metres away from people not in your household, such as when waiting at public transport stations, outdoor markets, walkways and thoroughfares.
- Face masks remain mandatory when indoors – for example, in shopping centres or at a hospital.
- Face masks remain mandatory on public transport, including at stations and stops (trains, trams, buses, taxis and ride share services).
- Face mask use indoors remains very important in settings with poor ventilation and where there are lots of people nearby.
- You should wear a face mask when you have visitors or when you visit others if you are unable to stay more than 1.5 metres from each other. You must continue to carry a face mask with you at all times.
- Some industries are required to wear face coverings, as part of their COVIDSafe plan.
- 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 will no longer be considered a sufficient face covering.
- There are a number of lawful excuses for not wearing a face mask.
- A face mask with three layers is the option recommended by the Chief Health Officer, as it provides the best protection for you and others.
- To provide yourself the best protection you should wear a mask that:
- Is three layers
- That covers your nose and mouth
- That is well fitted – this means it should fit snugly over your nose and mouth
Exceptions for not wearing a face mask
Lawful excuses or exceptions for not wearing a face mask
A face mask is not required in some circumstances including:
- Infants and children under the age of 12 years.
- A person who is affected by a relevant medical condition, including problems with their breathing, a serious condition of the face, a disability or a mental health condition.
- Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
- Persons for whom wearing a face mask would create a risk to that person’s health and safety related to their work, as determined through OH&S guidelines.
- Persons whose professions require clear enunciation or visibility of their mouth. This includes teaching or live broadcasting.
- Professional sportspeople when training or competing.
- If you are working on your own property with members of your household, but no staff or contractors are on site.
- When you are doing any exercise or physical activity where you are out of breath or puffing. Examples include jogging or running, but not walking. You must carry a face mask on you and wear it when you finish exercising.
- When directed to remove the face mask to ascertain identity.
- When you are travelling in a vehicle by yourself or with other members of your household.
- When consuming food, drink or medication, including when seated at a restaurant where permitted.
- When undergoing dental treatment or other medical care to the extent that the procedure requires that no face mask may be worn.
- During emergencies.
You must carry a face mask with you when leaving home, even if you don’t need to wear it while undertaking your current activity. For example, you can take your face mask off to eat or while you are running, but you must carry it with you and put it back on when you finish.
People with lawful exemptions for not wearing a face mask still need to keep 1.5 metres apart from others, washing or sanitising hands frequently and getting tested if unwell (even with mild symptoms). Find out more about staying safe.
I have a medical condition that prevents me from wearing a face mask, do I need a medical certificate stating I don’t need to wear a face mask?
You do not need a medical certificate stating that you have a lawful reason for not wearing a face mask. If you have a lawful reason for not wearing a face mask, you do not need to apply for an exemption or permit.
If you are stopped by police, they will ask you to confirm the lawful reason you are not wearing a face mask.
Do people with a disability have to wear a face mask?
Yes, people with a disability must wear a face mask unless it is unsuitable to do so for medical, physical, communication or other individual risk factors.
If you have a lawful reason for not wearing a face mask, you can choose to wear a face shield on its own.
I have a lawful exception for not wearing a mask – can I wear a face shield or other face covering?
You can choose to wear a face shield on its own if you have a lawful reason for not wearing a face mask. Other types of coverings, including specially designed face coverings, can be worn by people who have a lawful exception to provide a level of protection.
What about people who have experienced trauma that makes it difficult for them to wear a face mask?
Some people who have past experiences of trauma are unable to wear a face mask due to psychological impacts. This is a valid reason not to wear or carry a face mask when you leave home.
Can I take my face mask off if someone I am communicating with can’t hear me?
You can remove your face mask if you are communicating with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
You should maintain physical distancing of 1.5 metres and if you need to cough or sneeze, do so into a tissue or your elbow.
How do I wear a face mask correctly?
A cloth mask should fit securely around the face, specifically covering the nose and the mouth areas. The mask should fit snugly on your face and be secured by ties at the back of your head or ear loops. If you are using a mask with ear loops, you can use a plastic clip or tie to join the ends together at the back of your head to make sure it fits snugly on your face.
Make sure that your mask does not have holes or any unfiltered one-way valves. This can result in breathing out the virus if you have coronavirus (COVID-19).
Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or use hand sanitiser that is made up of over 60% alcohol, before putting on your mask and after taking it off. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth at all times and store used cloth face masks in a plastic bag until you have an opportunity to wash them.
Surgical mask (single use)
- A surgical mask should fit securely around the face, specifically covering the nose and the mouth areas.
- Before putting on the mask, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or use a hand sanitiser that is made up of over 60% alcohol.
- Check for defects in the mask, such as tears or broken loops.
- Position the outer side of the mask outward according to the instructions of the manufacturer.
- If present, make sure the metallic strip is at the top of the mask and positioned against the bridge of your nose.
- If the mask has:
- ear loops: hold the mask by both ear loops and place one loop over each ear
- ties: hold the mask by the upper strings. Tie the upper strings in a secure bow near the crown of your head. Tie the bottom strings securely in a bow near the nape of your neck
- dual elastic bands: pull the bottom band over your head and position it against the nape of your neck. Pull the top band over your head and position it against the crown of your head.
- Mould the bendable metallic upper strip to the shape of your nose by pinching and pressing down on it with your fingers.
- Pull the bottom of the mask over your mouth and chin.
- Be sure the mask fits snugly.
- Don’t touch the mask once in position.
If the mask gets soiled or damp, replace it with a new one.