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COVID-19: Wearing a face covering

Face coverings can help reduce the spread of COVID-19. They stop droplets spreading when someone speaks, laughs, coughs or sneezes. This includes someone who has COVID-19 but feels well or has no obvious symptoms.

It is now mandatory to wear face masks/coverings on public transport, on flights, and if you are a customer or an employee involving customer contact such as at a supermarket, pharmacy or petrol station.

At Alert Levels 2, 3 and 4 are encouraged to wear a face covering and keep 2 metres distance from others when leaving your home. If you are around people you do not know, it is a good idea to wear a face covering.

You must wear a face covering when:

  • on public transport and at arrival and departure points, for example airports, train stations and bus stops
  • on ferry services carrying passengers between the North and South Islands
  • on flights
  • in taxis or ride share vehicles
  • visiting a healthcare or aged care facility
  • inside a retail business, for example supermarkets, pharmacies, petrol stations, shopping malls, indoor marketplaces, takeaway food stores
  • inside a vet clinic
  • inside public venues, such as museums and libraries, but not swimming pools
  • visiting the public areas within courts, tribunals, local and central government agencies, and social service providers
  • in an indoor settings at a high school in Alert Level 3, for example a classroom and assemblies. This includes students in Years 9 to 13 and staff.

In general, face coverings should be worn whenever you can. The Delta variant is more transmissible by droplets, so face coverings are a way we can protect ourselves and each other.

There are some circumstances where you do not need to where a face covering if:

  • there is an emergency
  • you have a physical or mental health illness or condition or disability that makes wearing a face covering unsuitable
  • you need to prove your identity
  • you need to communicate with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing
  • you need to take medicine
  • you need to eat or drink, if eating or drinking is usually allowed
  • it is not required by law.

Exemption card for face coverings

If you have a disability or health condition and you can’t wear a face covering safely or comfortably, you are exempt from wearing one.

If you cannot wear one, you can get an exemption card. You can show your exemption card when needed.

You can request a card from the Disabled Persons Assembly NZ by contacting them on 04 801 9100 or emailing them at info@dpa.org.nz.


Kia ora, welcome to the home page of Deafblind Association New Zealand.

The Deafblind Association NZ was established as a charitable trust in 2014. Deafblind Association NZ is a not-for-profit organisation and receives no funding from central government and is required to source funding to finance the support it provides.

For further information about Deafblind Association New Zealand, please call us toll free on 0800-450-650.

Our Vision:

For deafblind New Zealanders and their families to be empowered, connected, and included.

Our Mission:

To partner with deafblind New Zealanders to support opportunities for connection and inclusion. We work to promote and represent the interests of people with deafblindness, their families and carers, and to encourage self-determination by people who are deafblind.