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Do I need to wear a face mask at beauty appointments?

PHOTOGRAPHY BY AGNIESZKA CHABROS

WORDS BY AMY FOCIC

Don’t ditch your masks yet.

A global pandemic has necessitated a wardrobe staple no one saw coming – the humble face mask. With its proliferation came a whole slew of newly-discovered concerns, like glasses fog that seemingly cannot be abated and the fresh hell that is maskne.

Now that restrictions are gradually easing across the country, beauty appointments are back. I’m talking hairdressers, nail salons, beauticians, skin clinics, tanning salons and massage parlours. All the good stuff.


We like nosy people. Don’t be shy, head to our Beauty section for more. 


While we might be itching to forgo face masks and relegate them to the depths of our cupboards, we can’t just yet.

Who can attend salons and spas at the moment?

Although the eastern part of Australia is mostly out of lockdown in line with the rest of the country, the freedoms are for fully vaccinated people only in New South Wales and Victoria (for the time being). This means you have to be double vaxxed if you want to go to any type of beauty appointment in these states.

In the Australian Capital Territory, the territory government hasn’t mandated vaccination to visit salons and spas, but businesses themselves can make vaccination a condition of entry. It’s best to check with the business you’re visiting before you go.

In the remaining states and territories, anyone, regardless of vaccination status, can go to a beauty appointment.

Do I have to wear a mask at my appointment?

Whether or not you have to wear a mask at your appointment will depend on what state you’re in. In NSW, Victoria, the ACT and South Australia, you’ll need to wear a mask at the salon for all appointments.

Yes, you can definitely take it off for a service like a facial or a lip wax in Victoria and South Australia, as long as you put it straight back on afterwards. The rules in NSW and the ACT aren’t explicit on this, so tread carefully and call ahead to find out your salon’s rules.

Queenslanders don’t have to wear a mask indoors unless they live in one of the impacted areas listed here (which are mostly southeast Queensland). If you do need to wear one, you can take it off when the beauty service requires it.

In the Northern Territory and Western Australia, you can (hygienically) kiss your mask goodbye for beauty appointments. Tasmania doesn’t currently have any mandates in place for wearing a mask to your beauty appointment, but it’s recommended you wear a mask if you can’t physically distance yourself from others.

Are there exemptions for mask-wearing?

In every state and territory, the reasons you can be exempt from mask-wearing are the same. People with a physical or mental illness, condition or disability – which can include a skin condition, an intellectual disability or obstructed breathing, for example – are exempt. Children under 12 years of age also don’t have to wear a mask.

Do I have to show proof if I’m exempt from wearing a mask?

Some states are clear that proof will be required if you’re exempt from wearing a face mask, but others aren’t so clear.

In NSW and Tasmania, you’ll need to show proof (like a medical certificate or statutory declaration) if you’re asked why you’re not wearing a mask. In Victoria, on the other hand, the government has definitively said you will not be required to prove you’re exempt.

There’s some grey area in Queensland, the ACT and South Australia. In these states, it could be best to have proof just in case. Ultimately, masks help protect both ourselves and those around us from contracting COVID-19, so if you can wear them, it’s your best first line of defence.

To find out more about the national roadmap for reopening, head here.

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