AHPPC recommends no mandatory masks in airports

By Anna Macdonald

Wednesday June 15, 2022

Mark Butler
Health minister Mark Butler. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) is now recommending face masks no longer be required to be worn in airport terminals from 11.59pm on Friday June 17. Masks will still be mandatory on flights. 

In a statement, AHPPC noted all parts of Australia have relaxed mask-wearing rules. 

“The AHPPC notes that all states and territories have relaxed mask mandates in most settings within the community and considers that it is no longer proportionate to mandate mask use in airport terminals,” the statement said.

The AHPPC continues to recommend people wear masks in indoor settings, including airport terminals where physical distancing is not possible, noting masks’ roles in preventing the spread of disease to those not vaccinated or those vulnerable in the community. 

The removal of the mask mandate is now at the discretion of individual states and territories. 

In a joint statement, health minister Mark Butler and transport minister Catherine King said the deicsion was in proportion with the current COVID-19 situation.

“We anticipate the travelling public will notice this change in the days following Friday as individual state and territory jurisdictions make the necessary changes to their public health orders,” Butler and King said in the statement. 

The news comes as Canberra Airport said it was launching legal action against the ACT government last week over the continuing mandatory mask requirements in airport terminals. 

The airport group had said the continuation of the mask mandate was in violation of the ACT’s human rights legislation and argued other venues such as pubs and bus terminals no longer had a mask requirement. 

According to the Canberra Times, the legal action has been dropped over the news. 

Over in the US, a federal judge recently found the mask mandate on airlines overstepped the scope of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Meanwhile, health officials have stressed the importance of being vaccinated against the flu this flu season, as health systems across the country warn of the dual pressures of COVID-19 and influenza. 


READ MORE:

Return to public sector offices: should workers keep wearing a mask?

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