Face masks

Face masks are a way we can protect ourselves and others. Find out when you must wear them, how to wear them safely, who is exempt, and how to get free face masks.

Why you should wear a face mask

As cases rise, we strongly encourage you to wear a face mask in closed, crowded and confined spaces, for example on public transport.

Wearing a face mask helps prevent the spread of COVID-19 in 2 ways. Face masks:

  • reduce the number of virus particles someone with COVID-19 can spread
  • prevent you from inhaling virus particles.

Face masks help protect yourself and others around you, especially people who are at higher risk of getting very sick. This includes older people, people with compromised immunity and disabled people.

The best protection is when everyone wears a face mask. You should find a good quality face mask that fits you well and is comfortable to wear.

How to wear a face mask safely

Free face masks

You can get free medical face masks when you pick up rapid antigen tests (RATs) from a testing centre. You do not need to be unwell or have COVID-19 symptoms. To get free face masks, order online:

Request free RATs and face masks | Ministry of Health (external link)

Find a testing site that offers free face masks | Healthpoint (external link)

If you are at higher risk of severe illness, you can get free P2/N95 face masks.

People at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19

Videos: Face mask guidance

Videos: Face mask guidance

Face mask posters

We have COVID-19 resources available for businesses and other organisations to download, print and share.

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