NSW and COVID-19

Face mask wearing in NSW (21 January 2021)

Information regarding face masks has changed over the past months. Outlined below is the most recent information to hand and is to be used as a guide for members to make decisions in their practice.

For the most up to date NSW information look at NSW Health website.

On the NSW Health COVID-19 page is updated advice for health professionals as of 22 December 2020, members should note:

  • NSW Health staff must follow the advice of local infection control staff and the Clinical Excellence Commission guidance in the Response and Escalation Framework.
  • When there is active community transmission, general practitioners and other primary health care professionals should wear a mask for all clinical encounters.
  • The NSW Government has distributed masks to health workers to meet current demand and is monitoring the supply of masks across the state.

Members should keep a close watch on the Risk Monitoring Dashboard. As of the 21 January, the overall status is in the AMBER risk category.

For advice on PPE, social distancing and allied health practice during risk levels please see the COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Response and Escalation Framework. (NB. On page 3 of this document is an outlineo the Risk matrix Model.

Face masks are mandatory in certain premises in Greater Sydney:

  • Effective 3 January 2021 – In Greater Sydney (including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains) face masks are mandatory in specified indoor settings. For more information see the NSW Government Face Masks page.

A person may remove their mask if they are:

  • eating or drinking; or
  • communicating with another person who is deaf or hard of hearing; or
  • at work and the nature of the work makes the wearing of fitted face covering a risk to the person's, or another persons' health and safety, or means clear enunciation or visibility of your mouth is essential; or
  • asked to remove their mask for identity purposes.

All of this should be considered as part of a member’s Risk Assessment.

For more details view NSW Government: who needs to wear a mask.