PALASZCZUK PRESSER
PALASZCZUK PRESSER

Revealed: New fine for non-mask compliance

Authorities will be empowered to give out on-the-spot fines of $200 to anyone busted flouting future mask mandates during a COVID lockdown.

The government has introduced the new fine - in the wake of the Greater Brisbane lockdown - in a bid to create a specific infringement for the offence.

Those caught not wearing or carrying a mask in breach of a public health direction will be slapped with the new fine, which was introduced without consultation due to its "urgent nature".

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk putting on a mask. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Dan Peled
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk putting on a mask. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Dan Peled

The $200 value of the fine will bring Queensland into line with both NSW and Victoria, which have the same penalty for non-mask compliance.

During the January Brisbane lockdown, police were able to dish out fines to those not wearing a mask because they were failing to follow a public health direction - but the infringement notice was $1334.

The explanatory notes for the new regulation say the $200 penalty "aligns more closely" with community standards and ensures there is a "proportionate and effective enforcement response".

"The benefits of wearing face masks in reducing the spread of COVID-19, especially in closed or confined environments, is well documented," it says.

"With new strains of the virus being identified and a growing recognition the virus can be transmitted even without symptoms, numerous health advisory bodies, including the World Health Organisation, recommends the wearing of face masks for the general public."

The explanatory notes warn that anyone caught breaching any other aspect of public health directions, beyond mask mandates, could still be fined $1334.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young wearing a mask. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Dan Peled
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young wearing a mask. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Dan Peled

Police handed out hundreds of masks during the three-day Brisbane lockdown, during which mask wearing was mandatory in all areas outside the home.

The final round of mask restrictions were lifted on Friday, January 22 - but it remains mandatory to wear masks in airports and on domestic flights.

Originally published as Revealed: New fine for non-mask compliance


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