In part three of this series, we unpack mask wearing in the Shoalhaven.
Fitted mask wearing outside is mandatory across the state, except when exercising. You must carry a face mask with you at all times.
Where am I required to wear a mask?
- When you are outside in a public place including on a street or at a park, queuing outside a café or shop to collect take away food or drink or walking on a street near shop fronts.
- In all indoor areas of non-residential premises, including workplaces.
- If you are working in an outdoor area or on a construction site (except if wearing it creates a safety issue or there is a worksite emergency).
- In common indoor areas in residential buildings including shared foyers, laundries, stairwells, lifts and corridors.
Fines for not wearing or carrying a mask have been increased from $200 to $500.
$80 fines apply to those aged 16 or 17 years of age who fail to comply with a direction to wear or carry a mask. Those aged 15 or younger can be fined $40.
Where/when am I allowed to take my mask off?
- When exercising, although when you leave your house to exercise, you must bring your identification and mask with you. Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys said walking was good enough exercise to justify leaving your mask off. He strongly advised masks be put back on when social distancing could not be maintained, such as on a busy street or walking track.
- At home (including residents of aged care) but NSW Health strongly recommends wearing face masks if you are unable to physically distance from people you do not live with.
- In an emergency.
- When you need to communicate with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing and seeing the mouth is essential.
- When you are eating or drinking.
- At work and the nature of the work makes the wearing of a fitted face covering a risk to health and safety.
- If you are identifying yourself to police.
- At a correctional centre, place of custody, or hospital.
- A guest in a hotel/motel room and in your room.
- In the process of getting married.
- Working alone in an office (until another person enters).
- In a vehicle alone or with another person from your household.
Can I take my mask off around my nominated 'singles bubble' visitor?
In the Shoalhaven, people who live alone may nominate another person to visit their home - although that person must also reside in the Shoalhaven LGA. Registration of your nominated person is not required in the Shoalhaven.
You may take your mask off when you are in a vehicle with members of your household or in a vehicle or household with your nominated 'singles bubble' visitor.
Carpooling with people from outside your household is not allowed except if you are driving to exercise with your nominated 'singles bubble' visitor, you are in an emergency, for compassionate reasons, to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person or if the car is being used as a taxi or rideshare.
Can I refuse entry to somebody who is not wearing a mask?
If a person refuses to wear a face mask at a premise, the occupier of the premises may refuse entry to that person but it is important to understand the exceptions.
Who is exempt from needing to wear a mask?
Masks should not be worn by toddlers under 2 years of age and babies, as they are a choking and suffocation risk.
Children 12 years and under are exempt and not required to have a mask on them but are encouraged to wear masks where practicable.
Tips on wearing a face mask
- Wash or sanitise your hands before putting on or taking off your mask.
- Ensure the mask covers your nose and mouth and fits snugly under your chin, over the bridge of your nose and against the sides of your face.
- Refrain from touching the front of your mask while wearing or removing it.
- Do not allow the mask to hang around your neck or under your nose.
- Do not reuse single-use masks.
- Wash and dry reusable masks after use and store in a clean, dry place.
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