How to Wear a Mask Properly By a Lane Cove Registered Nurse

The Public Health (COVID-19 Mandatory Face Coverings) Order (No 3) 2021 commenced on 26 June 2021. This Order creates some additional requirements for Greater Sydney (including Sydney, the Central Coast, Shellharbour, and Wollongong).

Under the Order, a person must wear a mask (covering the nose and mouth of the wearer) if they are:

  • In an indoor area of a NSW airport (including a passenger waiting area)
  • A person on a domestic commercial aircraft that lands at, or takes off from, a NSW airport while the aircraft is at a NSW airport or in NSW airspace
  • At a public transport waiting area, or in a vehicle or vessel being used to provide a public transport service in Greater Sydney (Sydney, the Central Coast, the City of Shellharbour, and the City of Wollongong)
  • At any indoor area in Greater Sydney (Sydney, the Central Coast, the City of Shellharbour, and the City of Wollongong) that is a:
  • Retail premises or business premises that provides goods/services to members of the public who attend the premises including:
    • Supermarkets
    • Shopping centres
    • Bank branches
    • Post offices
    • Hairdressing salons
    • Nail salons
    • Beauty salons
    • Tanning salons
    • Waxing salons
    • Spas
    • Tattoo parlours
    • Massage parlours
    • Betting agencies
    • Licenced premises under the Liquor Act 2007 such as pubs, registered clubs, casinos being used for gaming, including gaming lounges
  • Entertainment facilities
  • Places being used for public worship or religious services
  • Residential aged care facilities (excluding residents at the facility)

Hospitality workers in Greater Sydney (Sydney, the Central Coast, the City of Shellharbour, and the City of Wollongong) whose functions require the person to deal directly with members of the public whilst carrying out those functions

Masks are required in gym classes and dance classes, unless the person participating is under 12 or cannot wear a mask for physical or mental health reasons.

The usual exemptions that apply under the Public Health (COVID-19 Mandatory Face Coverings) Order (No 3) 2021 apply in Greater Sydney (e.g. persons aged 12 or under or persons with a physical or mental condition that make wearing a mask unsuitable).

Penalties of $200 will apply for not wearing a mask.

An exemption is in place on commercial aircrafts and in NSW airports for flight crew and airport workers such as an engineer or other technical staff, and a range of other activities in connection with an aircraft, where they are not interacting directly with passengers.

How Do I Wear a Mask Properly?

We asked Sarah Martin, Lane Cove Mum and Registered Nurse with over 30 years of experience working in an Operating Theatres as a Clinical Nurse Specialist on how to properly wear a mask.
How do I wear it?

Pinch the mask at the bridge of your nose. Pull the bottom of the mask underneath your chin so both your nose and mouth are covered. (Sarah is correctly wearing a mask in our cover photo).

If you’re going out twice a day it’s important to have TWO masks – wear one on each occasion, then wash and clean appropriately OR if it’s a disposable mask THROW it out!
Please remember that other people’s particles can stick on the outside of your mask
Treat the outside of your mask as DIRTY – so please wash it after every use (if it’s cloth OR Throw it away if it’s disposable!)
Can I wear it with my nose sticking out?
NO! 🤦‍♀️Your nose must be covered by the mask too!
I wear glasses and they fog up!
Yes, I wear glasses too so I hear you! Make sure your glasses rest on top of your mask not underneath it.
The bands of the mask around my ears hurt😳
A simple solution to this is to cut one end close to the actual mask (let’s say the bottom band at each side) then tie them at the back of your head. There are band holders that you can purchase on the internet – to help ease ear pain.
Does it decrease my Oxygen intake? 
No, your oxygen intake will remain the same. You may recall (if you’ve ever had an operation) that a peg-like cord is attached to your finger- this measures the Oxygen in your blood. There is NO difference to this rate if you do or do not wear a mask.
Why should I bother, no one else is doing it! 
The simple answer to this is – I KNOW where I HAVE been but I do not know where YOU have been. Protect yourself.
Please ensure you are wearing one that is made with the government’s standard guidelines – 3 layers are the minimum and the outer layer must be fluid resistant. (Yes people do spit when they talk, it’s not intentional- it just happens ).
If you feel sick (even if it is the slightest of symptoms) get tested.  Symptoms include, runny nose, sore throat, dry cough, headaches, body aches and loss of smell and taste.  Details on where to get tested locally here.
Seriously, wear a mask – it’s no big deal at the end of the day and you know what…you may actually prevent yourself OR a loved one from catching this dreadful virus.
My son is a Doctor in a Covid19 ward in Melbourne – please let’s keep ourselves safe so he doesn’t have to care for people just like us.  Let’s keep our healthcare workers safe as well.


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