Current as of May 3, 2022

You are a close contact if you:

  • Live in the same house as someone who tests positive; or

  • Spent four hours or longer with someone in a home, or health or aged care environment.

The following changes to ACT's COVID-19 close contact rules are currently in effect:

  • Close contacts no longer required to quarantine

  • They will have to wear a mask indoors avoid sensitive settings, and work or study from home where it is practical.

  • Individuals must return a negative COVID-19 test 24 hours before attending their place of work or study, and then every 48 hours if ongoing attendance is required.

  • If a close contact develops any symptoms they must immediately get tested and isolate until their symptoms resolve and a negative test is returned.

For more in-depth information regarding COVID-19 close contact rules and instructions, head over to the official ACT government COVID-19 website here.


Face masks remain mandatory in the following situations:

  • For household contacts aged 12 years and over in any indoor setting that is not their own home

    • Only students who are household contacts in Years 7 to 12 will be required to wear a mask when attending school, consistent with previous advice.

    • Mask wearing for students who are household contacts in primary school is at the discretion of the student and their parents/carers, and would not be recommended for children in ECECs, or Preschool to Year 2.

  • On public transport, including a public bus, light rail vehicle, taxi, rideshare vehicle, hire car or demand response service vehicle.

    • Drivers of these vehicles must also wear a face mask when transporting passengers.

  • Staff and visitors entering a high-risk setting, which includes:

    • Hospitals

    • Residential aged care facilities

    • Correctional centres, detention place or other places of custody

    • Residential accommodation facilities that support people who require frequent, close personal care and who are vulnerable to severe disease

  • Staff who are providing a service to a person with a disability.

  • Staff who are working for an in-home and community aged care provider

  • In Canberra Airport and on domestic flights into and out of Canberra Airport.

For settings where face masks are mandatory, a person may remove their face mask in the following situations:

  • When consuming food, drink or medicine.

  • When communicating with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing and visibility of the mouth is essential for communication.

  • If asked to remove a face mask to ascertain identity (for example, if asked by a police officer).

  • When the nature of a person’s work means that wearing a face mask creates a risk to health and safety.

  • If it is necessary for the proper provision of goods or services.

  • When undertaking vigorous exercise.

  • Because of an emergency.

  • When it is required by law.

  • If it is not safe in all the circumstances.

  • In accordance with hospital policies or procedures.

  • When performing work in an indoor space, but only when:

    • In an office where no other people are present

    • When sitting or standing at a workstation in an office, and

    • 1.5 metres away from any other person.

Businesses and workplaces should consider whether to implement mask wearing policies within their own workplaces, both for employees and any clients or visitors entering the premises as part of their COVID Safety Plan and to meet work health and safety obligations. This will be particularly relevant for all businesses and workplaces which employ staff in customer-facing roles to protect vulnerable people who must access these premises and services.

Face masks are not mandatory for the following people/situations:

  • There is no requirement to wear a face mask for children under 12. This remains at the discretion of parents and carers.

  • A person is also not required to wear a face mask if they have a physical or mental health illness or condition, or disability, which makes wearing a face mask detrimental to their condition.

  • A formal written exemption for not wearing a face mask based on the above conditions is not required under the public health direction.

  • Under the public health direction, an authorised officer is permitted to question why you are not wearing a face mask however, a verbal response is sufficient. If you would like documentation, you can ask your registered health practitioner or disability care provider to issue a letter confirming your inability to wear a mask.

For the latest updates regarding face masks in the ACT, head over to the official government website here.

Helpful information:

Stay updated via the ACT Government website.


If you have any questions or need extra support, we're here to help you anytime in any language. Simply start a chat with us via the home screen of the Sonder app.

Did this answer your question?