Mandatory Wearing of Fitted Masks

As of 5.00pm Thursday 6 May 2021 new COVID restrictions will come into effect which will apply to Greater Sydney region, Central Coast, Wollongong and Blue Mountains. These changes reimpose temporary restrictions on indoor gatherings, public transport and the mandatory wearing of face masks in “indoor areas”. These restrictions will presently be in force until 12.01am Monday 10 May 2021.
Under these temporary restrictions, face masks will be mandatory in all public indoor venues, such as retail, theatres, hospitals, aged care facilities and for front-of-house hospitality staff. It is the view of MTA NSW that public indoor areas and “retail” venues will apply to Members who provide goods and services to members of the public who attend the business premises.
An “indoor area” is defined to include an area in a building or other structure, that has a roof, ceiling or other top covering, but does not include an area with at least 2 sides open to the weather.
There are permitted circumstances when a face mask maybe removed which include:

  1. the person is eating or drinking;

  2. the person is communicating with another person who is deaf or hard of hearing;

  3. the person is asked to remove the face mask to ascertain the person’s identity; or

  4. because of an emergency

What does this mean for Members?
MTA NSW recommends that all Members who maybe open during the period of the temporary restrictions adopt a cautious approach and require any and all persons working or attending an “indoor area” where members of the public enter to wear a face mask. This would include the reception or point-of-sale area in which members of the public visit.
Can I refuse entry to a person who attends my business premises and is not wearing a fitted face covering?
Whilst the mandatory wearing of face covering requirement is directed to individuals, not businesses; MTA NSW are of the view that in this event you can refuse entry to your business premises if a member of the public is not wearing a face covering. Alternatively, you may wish to provide a face covering or ask the customer to wait outside the designated premises.
Does the requirement for wearing of face coverings apply to staff?
In the view of MTA NSW, any and all employees of Members who are working in an indoor area where goods or services are provided to members of the public, who attend the premises, must wear a fitted face covering.
If you have any further questions regarding these restrictions, please contact the MTA Employment Relations Team on (02) 9016 9000 or by emailing [email protected].

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