Face masks not recommended for healthy individuals, but essential for health workers and sick people

Face masks help stop sick people spread virus

COVID-19 is an illness that is mostly spread via respiratory droplets — the little secretions we generate when we sneeze or cough.

It’s mostly passed on by touch — such as via contaminated surfaces — or when someone standing close to an infected person breathes in tiny droplets that have been coughed or sneezed into the air.

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Surgical face masks, the ones you typically see in public, help to catch some of these splashes and droplets of fluid. This is why sick people are encouraged to wear them.

If you are in mandatory quarantine in Australia, you are required to wear a surgical face mask if:

  • You need to leave your home for any reason and will be in public places
  • You are visiting a medical facility

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, or are confirmed to have the disease, you will also need to wear a mask when other people are in the same room.

If you’re unable to wear a mask, the people who live with you should not stay in the same room as you, and they should wear a mask if they enter your room.