Travellers on all Qantas and Jetstar flights into and out of Victoria now have to wear a face mask, in line with state government requirements following a 'second wave' of Covid-19 infections across Melbourne.
Qantas and Jetstar already provide free masks to passengers as part of their joint Fly Well program, but donning those masks has until now been optional – and it's an option taken up by relatively few travellers.
That changes this week, with all passengers – along with crew – required to mask up.
"We've made this change after a review conducted by our medical team in light of the prevalence of community transmission in Melbourne," a Qantas spokesperson said.
Virgin Australia, which previously made masks and sanitiser available onboard, says their "distribution of these for flights to and from Victoria is being shifted to occur prior to boarding."
However, a spokesman for the airline tells Executive Traveller that "guests travelling to or from metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell shire are advised to wear face coverings or masks on board," rather than this being mandatory – at least for now.
The Victorian government has also made it mandatory for people in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell shire to wear face coverings in public, with exemptions for medical and "professional" reasons, as well as in cases when it's not practical – such as when running for exercise – and for children under 12.
The current Stage 3 lockdown will extend through to late August 2020 and has already seen other states close their borders to Victoria, while all inbound international passenger flights to Melbourne Airport have been suspended.