With offices reopening after the new year break, it is important that businesses are across the current health directives. In December last year, Public Health issued a new Direction regarding the wearing of face masks. Information from the Department of State Growth can be found below:
Public Health has now issued a new Direction, which mandates the requirement for face masks to be worn at all indoor premises.
The Direction can be found here: https://www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0034/196882/Mask-wearing-requirements-No.-1-20-December-2021.pdf
The general requirements are:
- Face masks are required in all public indoor settings, this includes all workplaces.
- A face mask may be removed when a person is alone or when eating or drinking, or on their own in a vehicle.
- Face masks are not required in residential premises.
There are a range of other circumstances that apply when it is not feasible to wear a mask. These are listed in the Direction.
An indoor space has been defined as:
“An indoor space means an area (including a lift, elevator or other similar space), room, vehicle or premises, that is, or are, substantially enclosed by a roof and walls, regardless of whether the roof or walls, or any part of the roof or walls, are permanent or temporary, or open or closed”
We have also received a number of questions on how this will work over the past few days.
Public Health are in the process of preparing FAQs that will be available on the www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au website, with some of the most commonly raised questions below.
Does the employer need to provide facemasks or if it is the employees responsibility to provide their own?
An individual is responsible for providing their own face mask. The responsibility for wearing a face mask is on individuals, not businesses. Of course, if a business wishes to provide face masks to its employees, they may.
What is the fine for not wearing a mask?
An infringement notice of $778.50 can be issued to a person for not wearing a face mask.
How to manage someone who is not wearing a mask?
If a person enters your premises without a face mask, you may request them to put one on.
You may also choose to report your concerns using this web form: https://www.police.tas.gov.au/services-online/tasmanian-health-hotline-form-for-reporting-non-compliance/
There are certain exceptions to wearing a face mask, including for certified medical reasons. Reasons for not wearing a face mask are not always obvious, so it is important to be respectful of others.
Are workers in a large workshop are required to use a masks?
Face masks are required in all public indoor settings, this includes all workplaces.
If staff are working with 1.5 m between them, and other protections such as screens, do they need to wear masks?
Yes, face masks are required in all public indoor settings, this includes all workplaces.
If staff a working by themselves in an enclosed indoor space, they may remove their face masks. However, they must put it back on as soon as another person enters that space.
Where are masks available for purchase?
Face masks are available for purchase at most retail outlets including supermarkets, petrol stations, chemists, pharmacies and some retail stores. Only purchase as many masks as you reasonably need, so that there are enough for others in the community. This register also lists suppliers https://www.stategrowth.tas.gov.au/coronavirus/personal_protective_equipment_temporary_supplier_register?fbclid=IwAR2OYJqybVNkZHqzsCvnZVkPemNRJA5rnxGfchNL2PX8OmeAX2bov_5jOgQ