COVID-19 coronavirus: Face masks frequently asked questions

Find answers to your questions about wearing face masks while travelling to and from WA.

Last updated: 19 April 2021 at 12:01am

For general information about face masks, please see the Healthy WA website (external link).

Questions and answers


What is the requirement for wearing face masks?

With limited exceptions, everyone in WA in the following settings must wear a mask:

  • at an airport;
  • on an aircraft that is in WA or flying in the airspace over Western Australia;
  • travelling in a vehicle with a person who you know or ought reasonably to know is subject to a quarantine direction (this includes in a personal vehicle, private car, hired car, ride-share vehicle or taxi). 

Why does this rule only apply to these specific scenarios?

Airports and air travel can present an increased risk of COVID-19 transmission due to the possible presence of people who are infectious. Wearing face masks is effective in helping to prevent this.

Does this mean taxi drivers or other ride-share providers have to wear a mask if they are transporting passengers?

If the driver knows or ought to know that the passenger is subject to a quarantine direction, the driver must wear a mask. If the passenger is not subject to a quarantine direction (e.g. travelling from a very low risk state or territory and not required to self-quarantine), the driver is not required to wear a mask.

Examples of where a driver is required to wear a mask include transporting passengers from the airport to their suitable premises for self-quarantine and transporting them to/from a COVID Clinic to have a COVID-19 test.

Do I have to wear a mask if I am going to the airport, but haven’t travelled on an aircraft (e.g. picking up a family member or friend, visiting a shop at the airport)?

If you are going into the airport building you must wear a mask in the building.

Do I have to wear a mask if I am picking up a friend or family member from the airport and driving them home?

If the friend or family member you are picking up is subject to a quarantine direction (including entering self-quarantine for 14 days) you and your passenger/s must wear a mask until you have arrived at the suitable premises for self-quarantine.

If your passenger is not subject to a quarantine direction (e.g. travelling from a very low risk state or territory), you are not required to wear a mask when transporting them. You are still, however, required to wear a mask in the airport.  

I work in a café/shop at Perth Airport. Do I have to wear a mask?

Yes. You must wear a mask and only remove it in limited circumstances. The circumstances where you can remove your mask are set out below:

  • when communicating with a person who is deaf, hard of hearing or who needs visibility of the mouth for communication
  • when consuming food, drink or medicine as long as you are seated
  • if requested to remove your mask to ascertain identity
  • in an emergency or where it is not considered safe.

Where these circumstances apply, you must resume wearing your face mask as soon as practicable.

I am a member of a flight crew. Do we need to wear masks on aircraft?


Are children required to wear face masks?

Children aged over 12 years are required to wear a face mask.

Are there any other exceptions for wearing a face mask?

People who have a physical or mental illness, condition or disability which makes wearing a face mask unsuitable are also exempt from the requirement.

Does wearing a mask also apply to private/charter planes (e.g. mine sites who may charter private flights)?

Yes. It applies on all flights unless the flight is a not a commercial flight and there are less than 5 passengers on the non-commercial flight.

I am an aviation teacher/instructor – do I need to wear a mask if I am training students?

No, instructors on aircraft are not required to wear a mask if they are using the aircraft to train a trainee pilot.

Will a mask be provided to me if I do not have one?

If you are travelling and do not have a face mask, the airline you are travelling with should be able to provide you with one prior to your departure.

If you are visiting an airport as a member of the public, it is your responsibility to ensure you have an appropriate face mask and wear it at all times in the airport.  

Will I be fined if I don’t wear a mask?

There is now a legal requirement to wear a mask. It may be an offence to fail to comply with this requirement.

COVID-19 testing for international arrivals

What COVID-19 test do all international arrivals into Australia need to have prior to arrival?

As recommended by the AHPPC and endorsed by the National Cabinet, passengers travelling from another country to Australia (apart from New Zealand) must be PCR tested for COVID-19, 72 hours or less prior to departure, and display evidence of a negative test result prior to departure. Members of a travelling party who have been close contacts (e.g. household contacts) of a traveller who has a positive test result will also not be allowed to travel to Australia until all members of the party are released from quarantine or isolation.

For further information about this, including a list of exemptions determined by the Commonwealth, please see the Smartraveller website

This requirement does not apply to people travelling from New Zealand as part of WA’s controlled border arrangement.

What if I am required to get tested for COVID-19 before departing from overseas to Australia but do not complete this?

You will not be permitted to travel to Australia.

Where can I get a COVID-19 test before departing from overseas to Australia?

COVID-19 testing will vary from country to country. It is the responsibility of the individual to find out where they can get tested and display evidence of a negative test prior to departure from overseas to Australia.

Page reviewed 10 May 2021