Wear a face mask

Face masks help reduce the spread of COVID-19. You should wear one whenever you can. COVID-19 spreads by droplets, so face masks are a way we can protect ourselves and others.

Latest update — 25 January 2022

We are working to update this page. More information will be available soon.

  • A face covering will need to be an actual mask and attached to the head by loops around the ears or head. This means scarves, bandannas, or t-shirts should not be used.
  • Workers who are mandated to be vaccinated will need to wear a medical grade mask when working in public facing roles.
  • You will need to wear a mask at food and drink businesses, close-proximity businesses, and events and gatherings (you will not need to wear a face mask at a gathering where you have the exclusive use of the venue, including weddings). You can take your mask off to eat, drink or exercise.
  • All primary and secondary school students Year 4 and up will need to wear a face mask on public transport and Ministry of Education funded school transport services.

These changes will come into force at 11:59pm Thursday 3 February.

Face masks at Red

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

It is mandatory to wear a face mask:

  • on domestic flights
  • on public transport and at arrival and departure points, this includes Cook Strait Ferries and school transport but does not include designated carriages on specified Kiwirail services
  • 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 a classroom and assemblies. This includes visitors, students in Years 4 to 13 and staff
  • inside at tertiary education facilities or when a visitor to a licensed early childhood service
  • in the public areas within courts, tribunals, 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 Orange

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

It is mandatory to wear a face mask:

  • on domestic flights
  • on public transport and at arrival and departure points, this includes Cook Strait Ferries and school transport but does not include designated carriages on specified Kiwirail services
  • 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 public areas within courts, tribunals, 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 Green

It is mandatory to wear a face mask on domestic flights.

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

Exemptions and requesting an exemption card

For some people wearing a face mask is unsuitable. If you cannot wear a face mask, you can get an exemption card. You can show your exemption card when needed.

You should only request an exemption card if you have a disability or health condition that makes wearing a face mask unsuitable.

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

Face masks when you are at work

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)

Last updated: at