The new face mask rule at Cairns Airport


Jeremy Lebeuf

Feature Writer

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The wearing of faces masks at Cairns Airport is now mandatory in the fight to help slow and stop the spread of COVID-19 in the Tropical North.

The new Queensland Health regulations require travellers and everyone indoors and outdoors at airports to wear a face mask at all times.

Exceptions will be made for travellers with relevant medical conditions, disabilities and children under the age of 12.

Cairns Airport Chief Executive Richard Barker said the airport is working to ensure everyone understood the new requirements that will improve safety and increase public confidence in the air travel.

“We’re working closely with government to assist with the implementation of these new measures.

“We want passengers travelling through Cairns airport to feel safe and we ask that everyone in the terminal and those flying to be prepared and to have a face mask ready to wear, to ensure the safety of everyone travelling,” Mr Barker said.

The new COVID safety rule was introduced this week on the back of heightened concerns over emerging mutated strains of COVID-19 coming out of the UK which are far more transferable.

To date Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia already have “strongly encouraged” the wearing of face masks in flight, however the new direction of Queensland Health requires it to be compulsory that face masks are worn while passengers are on the aircraft.

“As an additional preventative measure to prevent the spread, mask wearing will be mandatory in all domestic airports in Australia,” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison at last week’s National Cabinet meeting.

A recent online survey commissioned by the Australian Airport Association showed the majority of travelling Australians would be more confident to fly if face masks were mandatory.

With over 80% who said they would wear a face mask while traveling domestically and over 70% saying they would feel more confident to fly domestically if face masks were mandatory.

Failure to comply with public health directions without a reasonable excuse may be subject to a maximum penalty value of up to $13 300. according to Queensland Health. 

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