Mask wearing requirements tighten in the red setting

26 Jan 22

The Government has updated the mask wearing requirements for New Zealanders while in the Red Traffic Light setting.

When are you required to wear a mask?

Masks must be worn at food and drink businesses, close proximity businesses, events and gatherings. The existing exception to this when you are eating and drinking or exercising still applies. You are required however to wear your mask when entering the premises, or when walking around such as to use the bathroom.

These changes will not apply to non-public facing workplaces, swimming pools, or gatherings where you have exclusive use of the premises. Workplaces are however encouraged to think about mask use policies to protect their workforces.

Primary and secondary school students year 4 and above are also required to wear a mask. They are now required to wear them on Ministry of Education funded school transport services and public transport.

What type of mask must be worn?

The Government has also updated the requirement of the type of mask required to be worn. For the general public, the requirement is that you wear an actual face mask, attached to the head by loops around the ears or head. This means that you may no longer wear for example a scarf, bandana, or t-shirt pulled over your face. It must be an actual face mask which covers your nose and mouth.

Workers who are legally mandated to be vaccinated must now wear a medical grade mask while working in public facing roles. For example a type 2R or level 2 mask or above. This includes the readily available blue medical grade disposable masks.

The Ministry of Health is to update guidance on the use of masks for the public, such as how to safely reuse masks.


Want to know more?

If you have any questions about the new requirements, please contact our specialist Litigation and Employment Team.

PDF version: here