SA and NSW drop masks on public transport

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Commuters in NSW and South Australia will no longer legally have to wear masks on public transport, as Victoria ramps up compliance on its networks.

The NSW government announced it would remove its mask mandate from Wednesday and the SA government announced it would do the same from Tuesday.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said it was a common sense approach bringing the rules into line for people travelling on buses, trains, rideshares, taxis and planes.

NSW Health continued to recommend people wear masks where they cannot physically distance and in settings where there are vulnerable people.

SA Premier Peter Malinauskas said his government was determined to relax restrictions as soon as it was safe to do so.

"We think this is another practical step going forward," Mr Malinauskas said.

In Victoria more than 100 commuters were slapped with fines and 181,000 were warned as part of a September crackdown.

Under Victoria's pandemic orders, public transport passengers must wear a fitted face mask covering their nose and mouth unless they have a valid exemption.

The penalty for not wearing a mask is $100.

"Our focus remains on educating Victorians rather than handing out fines, which is why we've given out almost 160,000 masks to passengers on public transport," a Victorian government spokesperson said.

"Public transport operators are continuing to ensure mask compliance and additional masks have been made available to customers travelling on our public transport network."

Recorded announcements in Victoria reminding passengers to use a mask have been in place since December 2020.

Western Australia scrapped mask mandates for public transport on September 9 but in Queensland people are still required to wear a mask on public transport.