Wear a face mask

Face masks are a way we can protect ourselves and others. You should wear one whenever you can. At some traffic light settings, there are some places where you must wear one.

Key points

  • As a general rule, you should wear a face mask whenever you are indoors. The exceptions are at your home or your place of work if it is not public facing. Your employer may encourage you to wear a face mask even if your job is not public facing.
  • When it is hard to physically distance from people you do not know, we encourage you to wear a face mask.
  • Everyone must wear a mask that is attached to the face by loops around the ears or head. This means people can no longer use scarves, bandannas or t-shirts as face coverings.
    Types of face masks
  • You do not need to wear a mask when exercising.
  • Some people are unable to wear face masks for a wide range or reasons, many of which are not visible.
    Who does not need to wear a face mask

Face masks at Red

We encourage you to wear a face mask whenever you leave the house.

You must wear a face mask:

  • on domestic flights
  • on public transport, this includes Cook Strait Ferries but does not include passengers within their allocated carriage on specified Kiwirail services
  • at indoor arrival and departure points for domestic flights and public transport
  • if you are aged 8 years or over or are a student who is in Year 4 or above on public transport and Ministry of Education funded school transport
  • in taxis or ride share vehicles
  • inside a retail business, for example supermarkets, shopping malls, pharmacies, petrol stations, and takeaway food stores
  • inside public venues or facilities, such as museums and libraries, but not at swimming pools
  • at a vet clinic
  • in an indoor setting at schools, for example classrooms and assemblies. This includes visitors, workers, and students and teachers in Years 4 to 13
  • inside at tertiary education facilities
  • when visiting a licensed early childhood service
  • at food and drink businesses, for example cafes, bars and restaurants — if you are seated indoors. You can take your mask off when seated and to eat and drink
  • at close-proximity businesses, for example hairdressers, barbers, beauty salons
  • at an indoor event
  • at an indoor gathering, except when you have exclusive use of the venue or defined space
  • when visiting the indoor area of a court or tribunal — unless the judicial officer does not require them
  • at premises operated by local and central government agencies, social service providers, and NZ Police
  • in the public area of premises operated by NZ Post Limited
  • when visiting a health care service, for example a healthcare or aged care facility.

Face masks at work


Face masks at Orange

We encourage you to wear a face mask whenever you leave the house.

You must wear a face mask:

  • on domestic flights
  • on public transport, this includes Cook Strait Ferries but does not include passengers within their allocated carriage on specified Kiwirail services or when you are on a ship that does not have an enclosed space for passengers
  • at indoor arrival and departure points for domestic flights and public transport
  • if you are aged 12 years or over on Ministry of Education funded school transport and public transport
  • in taxis or ride share vehicles
  • inside a retail business, for example supermarkets, shopping malls, pharmacies, petrol stations, and takeaway food stores
  • inside public facilities, such as museums and libraries, but not at swimming pools
  • at a vet clinic
  • visiting the indoor area of a court or tribunal — unless the judicial officer does not require them
  • at premises operated by local and central government agencies, social service providers, and NZ Police
  • in the public area of premises operated by NZ Post Limited
  • when visiting a healthcare service, for example a healthcare or aged care facility.

Face masks at work


Face masks at Green

You are encouraged to wear a face mask in public indoor settings.


Face masks when you are at work

When you must wear a face mask

Some people must wear a face mask when they are working with members of the public, customers or clients while they are at work — unless they are exempt.

Red

You must wear a face mask if you work at a gathering — it does not need to be a medical grade one.

The places where you must wear a medical grade face mask if you are working include:

  • in a food and drink business or service
  • in a close-proximity business, for example if you are a hairdresser
  • in a gym or indoor recreation facility
  • at an event
  • as a teacher of students in years 4 to 13.

Orange

You must wear a face mask if you work at a gathering — it does not need to be a medical grade one.

The places where you must wear a medical grade face mask if you are working include:

  • in a food and drink business or service
  • in a close-proximity business, for example if you are a hairdresser
  • at an event.

Green

You do not need to wear face masks at work at Green.

When you do not need to wear a face mask

You do not need to wear a face mask outdoors.

You do not need to wear a face mask in non-public facing workplaces. However, employers can apply their own policies for mask use.

More information

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has advice about the requirements for face masks in different sectors.

Face mask requirement for workers and customers | business.govt.nz (external link)

The Ministry of Health has information about the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) in a health and disability care setting.

PPE in health and disability care settings | health.govt.nz (external link)

Exemptions

Some people who have a disability or health condition may not be able to wear a face mask. There are also some situations where a face mask does not need to be worn.

Find a list of exemptions — where a face mask does not need to be worn and who does not need to wear one.

Who does not need to wear a face mask

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