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HealthInfo Canterbury

Face masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19

Kanohi kē e whakawhāiti i te hoarahanga o te mate korona

Wearing a face mask can reduce the risk of infected people spreading COVID-19.

A face mask helps 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.

You should use a mask along with other measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. These include hand washing, cough and sneeze etiquette, not touching your face and physical distancing.

See When, why and how to wear a face mask for advice about which type of mask to wear and how to care for your mask.

Face mask exemptions

Some people who have a disability or health condition may not be able to wear a face covering safely or comfortably. To help with this, you can get an exemption card. You can show your exemption card when needed.

You don't need to have an exemption card, but you may feel more comfortable showing something official to confirm you can't wear a face covering.

If you think you need an exemption card, see this Ministry of Health page for details of how to apply for an exemption pass.

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Content shared between HealthInfo Canterbury, KidsHealth and Health Navigator NZ as part of a National Health Content Hub collaborative. Last reviewed February 2022. Last updated September 2022.

Page reference: 784607

Review key: HICOV-710714