COVID-19 mask mandate on NSW public transport to be scrapped from September 21

One of the last COVID-19 restrictions still being enforced in NSW will be scrapped this week, with masks no longer required on public transport from Wednesday.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said this afternoon the decision represented a “common sense approach”, which brought rules in step with those at airports and on planes.

The move will come into effect from September 21.

Anyone over the age of 12 was required to wear a face mask on buses, trains and trams, and those who didn’t could be hit with on-the-spot fines.

Masks mandates for aircraft passengers were lifted on September 9, prompting a rethink for buses, trains and trams in the state.

NSW Health continues to advise people to wear a mask in situations where they cannot physically distance or when around vulnerable people.

“We can all continue to help protect each other, but particularly those most vulnerable to COVID-19 infection, by staying at home when feeling unwell, taking a COVID-19 test straight away and self-isolating,” Health Minister Brad Hazzard said.

Transport Minister David Elliott welcomed the decision saying commuters would now be able to make a “personal decision” about wearing a mask.

“Everyone has demonstrated throughout this pandemic that they will do what is required to protect themselves and each other from COVID-19 and I have no doubt they will continue to do so,” Mr Elliott said.

NSW will join South Australia in ending the mask mandates for commuters, with Peter Malinauskus announcing its rules would be wound back on Tuesday.

Federal Health Minister Mark Butler, however, told reporters today that some COVID-19 restrictions would need to be retained “over the course of 2023”.

Mr Butler said there needed to be a national focus on the potential impacts of long COVID on the population, an issue he said health authorities were still “coming to grips with”.


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