Which industries don’t have to wear face masks?


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Which industries don’t have to wear a face mask?

For those who work in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, there may be some confusion around when and where you need to wear a face mask. There are only three industries in which workers don’t need to wear a face mask. They are: 

  • Schools and childcare;
  • Broadcast media; and
  • Professional sports. 

While teaching or caring for children, you do not have to wear a mask as this “interferes with their ability to clearly communicate with students”.

Teachers and caregivers can make the decision to wear a mask while interacting with children at their own discretion. However, while not teaching, educators and carers need to wear a mask around schools or caregiving facilities. 

If you are working in broadcast media, there are some instances in which you will need to take off our face mask during broadcasts. Face masks will need to be put back on following the broadcast.

If you are a sportsman or woman, you may remove your mask while training or competing but will need to be put it back on between both. 

While working in all other industries, you will need to wear a face mask unless: 

  • You have a medical condition that makes it hard to breathe while wearing a face mask, you have a disability or a mental health condition;
  • You are deaf or hard of hearing;
  • You work in a profession in which wearing a face covering would be a risk to your health while working;
  • You work in a profession that requires clear visibility to the mouth, such as teaching or live broadcasting;
  • You are a professional sportsperson (you can take the mask off while training or competing);
  • You are completing strenuous physical activity such as jogging or running (you must carry a face covering for when you stop jogging or running); 
  • You are being asked to show an identification card, or someone asks you to remove you face covering for identification purposes;
  • You are travelling in a vehicle on your own;
  • You need to consume food, drink or medication;
  • You are undergoing medical or dental treatments that require the removal of your face covering; or
  • You are facing an emergency and need to remove your face mask. 


However, there is still some confusion around whether or not you should wear a face mask at workplaces such as call centres or building sites. 

What about face masks at call centres?

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) says you do need to wear a face mask while talking on the phone to customers in a call centre, unless one of the above exceptions applies to you. While working in call centres, you also need to maintain a 1.5 metre between you and co-workers while sitting at your desks and throughout the day.  

What about face masks on building sites?

The DHHS say that those working on construction sites need to wear a face mask unless the above exceptions apply. 

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