Updated: Jan 8
When do I need to wear a mask?
The Point to Point Transport Commission has clarified some questions regarding when Drivers are required to wear Face Masks.
The answer is: For Greater Sydney (including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains) drivers are required to wear a mask at all times whilst working, even when there are no passengers in the vehicle.
Wear a mask: Mask wearing is mandatory at all times for Drivers and Passengers in Taxis, at Taxi ranks and in all Point to Point Transport Vehicles.
This includes any area where persons queue or gather when waiting at a Taxi rank.
This means a driver of a Taxi and all point to point Transport Vehicles must wear a mask at all times the vehicle is being used to provide a passenger service. This includes:
while in the vehicle
when there are no passengers in the vehicle
while waiting at a rank or other pick up location
while available to provide a service (for example being available to take a fare or booking)
when stationary or on the way to pick up
when transporting passengers
any other time the vehicle is available for service.
Should a passenger not be wearing a mask, a driver may refuse to provide service as it may be a safety risk. This does not apply to
children under 12
persons with a physical or mental health illness or condition, or disability that makes wearing a fitted face covering unsuitable including, for example, a skin condition, an intellectual disability, autism or trauma.
wear a mask at all times while in the vehicle or at a Taxi rank
do not travel if unwell
practise good hygiene
set the air conditioning to external airflow rather than to recirculation, or have windows open where appropriate
cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze
use hand sanitiser
have a clean-up kit in the vehicle
customers should sit in the backseat of the vehicle
encourage customers to use contactless payments where possible
customers should handle their own luggage where possible
passengers travelling in a taxi should check in using the QR code in the Taxi
Whilst not mandatory outside of Greater Sydney, Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains, masks are also strongly recommended for passengers and drivers of point to point transport vehicles in other areas of the state. Vehicle Sanitisation Stations are available at multiple locations throughout the state. This is a complimentary service for all Taxis, for up to two sanitisations, per vehicle, per day to help reduce the spread of illness and assist with maintaining driver and passenger safety. Locations can be found here: Frequently Asked Questions have been published on the Point to Point Transport Commissioner website.
Mandatory Mask Wearing (face coverings) - Public Health Order
As of 3 January 2021 Public Health (COVID-19 Mandatory Face Coverings) Order 2021 has been published and is in effect. The order requires persons in Greater Sydney (including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains) to wear fitted face coverings in the following indoor settings:
Nail/beauty/tanning/waxing salons and spas
Premises licenced under the liquor Act and are used for the purpose of gaming
Places of public worship
Residential aged care facilities
Face coverings must be worn when a person is in a vehicle or vessel being used to provide a public transport service which includes a taxi service or a rideshare service, or at a public transport waiting area including at taxi ranks, bus stops, trains stations, light rail stops and ferry wharves. A fitted face covering is defined as a mask or other covering that fits securely around the face, and is designed or made to be worn over the nose and mouth to provide the wearer with protection against infection. Enforcement will start from Monday, 4 January 2021. NSW Police will enforce mask wearing and fines will apply for those who aren’t wearing masks.
Children under 12 are exempt but are encouraged to wear masks where practicable. The requirement to wear a face covering does not apply to person with a physical or mental health illness or condition, or disability that makes wearing a fitted face covering unsuitable including, for example, a skin condition, an intellectual disability, autism or trauma. Under certain circumstances, masks can be removed. These include:
Eating or drinking
Communicating with another person who is deaf or hard of hearing
The person is at work and the nature of the work: makes the wearing of the fitted face covering is a risk to the person’s or another’s health and safety; or means clear enunciation or visibility of the persons mouth is essential;
The person is asked to remove the fitted face covering to confirm their identity;
Because of an emergency;
the removal of the fitted face covering is necessary for the provision of the goods or services (for example having a beard trim).
If the fitted face covering is removed for any of the reasons above, they must resume wearing the fitted face covering as soon as practicable once the reason above ends. What does this order mean for the point to point industry?
Wear a mask: Mask wearing is mandatory at all times for drivers and passengers in point to point vehicles and at taxi ranks, which includes any area where persons queue or gather when waiting at a Taxi rank. Should a passenger not be wearing a mask, a driver may refuse to provide a point to point service as it may be a safety risk. This does not apply to children under 12 or persons with a physical or mental health illness or condition, or disability that makes wearing a fitted face covering unsuitable including, for example, a skin condition, an intellectual disability, autism or trauma.
Stay up to date with confirmed case locations: The list of case locations continues to grow, both on the beaches and across Sydney, so it’s crucial you stay up to date with the confirmed case locations listed on NSW Health website and follow the health advice if you have been to a confirmed case location. Confirmed cases of COVID-19 have visited a number of locations around Sydney.
Feeling unwell, get tested: Now more than ever it’s imperative that people continue to come forward for testing to assist in stopping the spread. If you have even the mildest symptoms such as headache, fatigue, cough, sore throat or runny nose, you’re asked to come forward immediately for testing, then isolate until a negative result is received. - do not go to work until this time.
Point to point drivers are reminded to carry out good hygiene practices, have their vehicles sanitised daily and, as always, if you are feeling unwell do not go to work and go get tested.
For information regarding testing clinics drivers should visit the NSW Government webpage.