COVID-19: Virgin and Qantas mandate masks for all flights involving New South Wales
I have been wearing a mask door-to-door on all flights since March, (why thank you) so I missed this policy change.
Virgin and Qantas up until now have been requesting passengers wear masks, but not enforcing it. Qantas flight staff early on were also a bit lax in their mask protocol, although, in my experience, that has changed for the better.
Regional Express (REX) has insisted on masks on all flights since June 2020.
Now, given outbreaks of COVID-19 in small clusters in NSW, this crackdown is no surprise. Qantas, Virgin and their subsidiaries are now insisting that all passengers wear masks during flight. That applies to flights from, to, and withing New South Wales. The same restrictions have applied to Victorian flights for several months.
Both airlines will supply passengers with masks and sanitiser, as they have been doing for months.
Children under 12 are exempted, as are those with a medical conditions that prevents them wearing a mask.
Although mask-wearing is not mandated for airports or airport lounges, I advise that you mimic my (exemplary) behaviour, which is to put your mask on as you exit your home, hotel, or office door to get into your Uber (since they also mandate mask-wearing).
Wear your mask right through the road trip, airport, lounge and flight, through until your arrival at your destination at the other end. Only remove your mask while eating and drinking in the lounge or flight, and organise yourself so that your unmasked time is minimal.
Oh, and watch out for QR codes to check-in to lounges and airports – Virgin is definitely displaying them. Checking-in using the appropriate state app will assist contact tracers in communicating with you should you end up being a close or casual contact of a COVID-19 infected person.
That is the end of this public service announcement.