The Federal Government has ended mask mandates in airport terminals from midnight on 17 June, following a recommendation from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC).
The changes only apply to airport terminals and masks will still be required on all flights.
This changed advice comes after the AHPPC has reviewed the current COVID-19 situation in Australia and considers it no longer proportionate to mandate mask wearing in the terminals.
It has also noted all states and territories have relaxed mask mandates in most community settings.
The travelling public will notice this change in the days following 17 June as individual state and territory jurisdictions make the necessary changes to their public health orders.
The Federal Government notes the AHPPC has strongly recommended Australians continue to wear masks as a key measure to help minimise the spread of COVID-19 and influenza.
Masks help us protect the most vulnerable in our community who are unable to get vaccinated and people who have a higher risk of developing severe illness.
The Federal Government is advised the AHPPC will continue to actively consider mask wearing on flights and will issue further advice on this in the future.
Australian Airports Association (AAA) has welcomed the announcement that mask mandates within airport terminals will end.
AAA Chief Executive, James Goodwin, said the end of mask mandates within the terminal will assist airport staff by allowing them to carry out their busy roles without the need to monitor the use of masks.
“Travellers are sensible people, so we are pleased that the decision to wear a mask in an airport is now up to them,” Mr Goodwin said.
“Masks have not been required in supermarkets, shopping centres and many other indoor public areas for some time, so this now brings airports in line with those venues and avoids confusion for travellers.”
Passengers are still being reminded that wearing masks once on the aircraft is mandatory in all states.
“Wearing a mask onboard an aircraft is still a government requirement, so we encourage all travellers to continue to pack their mask with all their other essentials, follow the rules and comply with any directions from staff,” Mr Goodwin said.