If Melbourne's new mandatory face mask rule has you wondering if you should mask-up in Sydney—especially with the current uptick in cases in NSW—we're here to help.
While wearing a COVID-safe face mask is not compulsory in NSW right now, as of Sunday 2 August, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has issued a "strong recommendation" that masks be worn in the following four circumstances:
- In enclosed public spaces, such as on public transport and while buying groceries
- While working in customer-facing roles like hospitality or retail
- While attending a place of worship
- If you are in an area of high community transmission or hotspot
Additionally, the World Health Organisation, who first suggested that face masks weren't effective, has since withdrawn that advice. Masks will not do any harm in protecting yourself and others—but they shouldn't, however, be used as a substitute for physical distancing and good hygiene.
If you're keen to put your mind at ease while out and about across the coming weeks, you can, stock permitting, shop face masks from chemists, Bunnings Warehouse, and even major supermarkets.
As well as this, lots of Australian brands, retailers and charity-based organisations are now producing fashion-friendly reusable masks—and we've listed a few of our favourites below.
Here's where you can buy face masks. Keep in mind that stock levels will fluctuate a lot due to high demand.
- Clear Collective | Based in the Blue Mountains, Clear Collective first launched back in 2019 when we needed masks for bushfire smoke—not global pandemics. They've got filtered and unfiltered masks that you can check out here.
- Bundarra | Bundarra is a First Nations sportswear label made using prints from authentic Indigenous artwork. They have a number of face masks available in awesome prints, all of which are currently available for pre-order. Each mask comes with two complementary filters. Shop here.
- Cheers To Your Local | This not-for-profit launched in May 2020 to help support our beloved local pubs through the COVID era—something we can definitely get behind. All profits from their merch, including face masks, goes directly towards supporting pubs and the legends that work there. Our top pick is the Dan Andrews-inspired "Get On The Beers" mask. Shop here.
- SisterWorks | Melbourne-based social enterprise Sister Works exists to help empower migrant women through work, and sales from their awesome face masks helps them to continue to provide support to vulnerable communities. Shop here.
- The Social Outfit | From our very own Newtown, The Social Outfit is a social enterprise dishing out some sweet tropical-themed masks. We also love their buy one, give one policy, which means for every mask you buy, one is donated to a person in need. Demand is high, but you can check stocks here.
- TECMASK | Sydney-based TECMASK has created "Immunity Defence Packs" that include a face mask, hand sanitiser, cleansing wipes, disposable gloves, soothing tea and plant-based immunity capsules. They are available to purchase from The Iconic.
- The Social Studio | The studio produces Australian-made medical scrubs, and are also making medical-grade face masks. They are restocking daily at 9am, order here.
- Second Stitch | Is a Melbourne-based not-for-profit organisation that employs women from asylum-seeker and refugee backgrounds, with profits going to help those in need. Buy their masks here.
- Bonds | Bonds is creating 100 percent cotton masks with adaptive cooling technologies, sold in packs of three. They've currently sold out, but will be restocking here soon.
- Cotton On | Cotton On has a cute range of face masks in patterns like red tartan, tie-dye and leopard (if it's a Joe Exotic vibe you're going for). We also love the cat mask. Fun fact, 100 percent of proceeds from masks sold go to the Cotton On Foundation’s global education projects and healthcare initiatives. Check it out here.
- Arsndorf | Melbourne-based sustainable label Arnsdorf is producing masks made from their GOT certified organic cotton fabric offcuts. Manufactured in Australia and sewn in the B-Corp Arnsdorf Atelier in Melbourne, these reusable face masks comprise of three layers of organic cotton, with organic cotton rib binding for personal community use. Check here to shop.
- HoMie | Our favourite Melbourne-based streetwear label slash social enterprise HoMie is bringing the goods with their own super cool face masks. As with any HoMie purchase, 100% of the profits go to homelessness and people in need. Shop here.
- Kathamndu | Kathmandu has created an antimicrobial Paladin face mask that combines two wool-based technologies that work together to reduce the build-up of moisture and heat. They have currently sold out but you can check for re-stocks here.
- The Every Mask | Made from 100% linen, The Every Mask is a side project for the co-founder of Sydney cafe Bak & Bak. You can shop online, or collect from the cafe and score 50% off your coffee when you do. Check it out.
- Voyager Maks | These eco-friendly masks are made with chitosan, a natural product derived from shells that is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, organic and biodegradable. Shop here.
How To Wear A Face Mask Correctly
According to NSW Government advice, your mask should cover your nose and mouth. Your mask should fit securely around your face (that is snugly under your chin, over the bridge of your nose and against the sides of your face).
Keep up to date with the latest COVID lockdown news for Sydney here.
For NSW Government COVID-19 advice, head here.
Image credit: Second Stitch
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