Masks are no longer needed on domestic, international flights

The long-awaited end to Australia’s air travel mask mandate is here.

By David Flynn, September 9 2022
Masks are no longer needed on domestic, international flights

The day of The Great Unmasking is finally here – as of today, Friday September 9, face masks are no longer required to be worn on domestic flights within Australia, as well as international flights travelling to Australia.

As advised on the federal Department of Health website: “From 12.01 am on Friday 9 September 2022 (AEST), the mask mandate for international flights to Australia will be removed. This means that flights travelling to Australia which depart on or after 12.01 am on Friday 9 September 2022 (AEST) will no longer be subject to a mask mandate.”

Face masks are now only considered as ‘must-wear’ items on some international flights from Australia, in accordance with local rules at the destination.

“Travellers should also be aware that airlines and countries they are travelling through may have different requirements,” the department advises.

Update: from 13 September 2022, face masks will also no longer be required on any New Zealand domestic or inbound international flights.

Air New Zealand is also reminding customers to opt into credit until 30 September should they wish not to travel following the change.

Qantas no longer considered face masks as mandatory on flights to London, Rome and the USA, for example.

Singapore is another mask-free route, and Singapore Airlines no longer enforces mask-wearing on flights to Australia along with other destinations including New Zealand, Thailand, France and Switzerland.

The Federal Government ruled for mandatory wearing of face masks on all domestic flights in early 2021; however, airlines were promoting masks as far back as May 2020 and they later became compulsory for flights to, from and within specific states and territories.

Airports around Australia declared masks optional in mid-June, so this latest announcement delivers welcome consistency for travellers.

29 Sep 2020

Total posts 2

Will be interesting to see if Qantas now resumes a full meal service in domestic business class as they did when the mask mandate was removed for international flights. They can no longer blame masks/COVID for the reduced service.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Feb 2018

Total posts 13

Not sure what routes you fly but the Business meal service has been the same on the flights I take

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Mar 2015

Total posts 4

See stains on my business shirts! Yes just confirming that full meal service resumed earlier this year on all QF flights I took in Business. One thing that did not resume until more recently was the service of spirits (as opposed to beer or wine) which (memory, so don't quote me please) resumed around 3 months ago. Great with Maggie Beer ice cream which comes out on the longer routes!

18 Jun 2022

Total posts 3

"mask mandates" vary on international service. It depends on the destination. What reduced meal service?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Nov 2021

Total posts 9

Does this also mean masks will no longer be mandatory on inbound international flights to Australia? Wouldn’t make sense otherwise.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Nov 2021

Total posts 9

Just confirmed this, they have now removed the mask requirement for all flights to and within Australia (Source: Note that masks are still required on some outbound international flights, including to Canada, Italy, NZ and more.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

29 May 2019

Total posts 6

And inbound Canada to Australia. I flew back this morning - LAS to YVR, then YVR to BNE, and needed masks for both flights. And they monitored it the whole 14.5 hr flight. 

Btw, Canada also has random testing for fully vaccinated travellers who don't have evidence of a positive PCR test evidence (between 10 to 180 days ago). So if I had PCR’d when I got COVID a few months back instead of RAT I would have been exempt from random testing. Which I got chosen for 🙄 More the inconvenience of testing when you are there for a short period. 

Re-coughing and spluttering people when travelling; I wish people could learn to cough into their elbows when they can’t get to a tissue.. the behaviour of adults was an eye opener!

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 527

I flew Vietnam Airlines inbound from Ho Chi Minh City to Sydney mid August and outbound again end of August. Was not required or asked to wear a mask on either flight. Nearly half of all passengers didn't wear masks on those 2 flights. Not sure why Air Canada is so strict.

Thai Airways International - Royal Orchid Plus

15 Jan 2013

Total posts 462

It's a triple has to wear the mask on the bus or train or an uber/hughes or whatever transport provider people use to the airport(nobody I know uses Taxi's anymore or if they do they live in the past or the stone age)and in the airport but for a plane flight they are dropping them.I will personally given I work in a high risk environment be sticking with the masks when the new rules come in.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

15 Jul 2016

Total posts 4

They removed in the airport in June as the article says - so its only ubers (where I haven't seen driver or passengers wear one for most of the year) or other public transport (again very low conformance).  If you feel you need to wear one then am all for freedom of choice - I choose not to.

08 May 2020

Total posts 85

If you feel you need to protect yourself from the Virus please wear a Mask but don't force your view on healthy People who don't share your view. Just got back from an International flight and having to wear that Mask for 8 hours is the most annoying part of the whole journey especially when your Ears had been a bit sunburnt. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Aug 2022

Total posts 10

About time. There is little more risk on a plane then in other crowded areas. I reckon most people will not wear them. I agree with Skynest101; hopefully on inbound international flights masks won’t be mandatory for much longer.

18 Jun 2022

Total posts 3

According to the best research on this space (from MIT in July 2022), the chance of catching COViD on a plane averages out at 1 in 2400. The risk goes up if you have a maskless infected person in a one metre radius of you. Every metre away they are away improves the risk. Having 85% or more masked, of course, reduces the risk factors by around 80%. So business class on a Thai airways 350 will be many magnutues safer than middle seat in middle row on Jetstar

26 Mar 2020

Total posts 67

About time!!!!!

Now time to resume ALL pre-covid services yes hot towels, printed menu, inflight magazines, pre-departure beverage service  and stop using Covid as an excuse for poor service 


09 Sep 2022

Total posts 1

Does that mean by inference that Qantas flights to Singapore are mask free as well ?


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Sep 2017

Total posts 162

Thank God. Long overdue.

Etihad - Etihad Guest

26 Apr 2019

Total posts 7

I flew to Singapore on Monday with Qantas.  Can confirm - no mask was required.  Flying home on QF2 tonight and am looking forward to no mask on that flight too.  And the QF First Lounge here in Singapore sure does get busy.

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