Masks will also be required outdoors at Australia Day events

At Australia Day events this year mask wearing will be required in both indoor and outdoor settings. File picture

WESTERN Australians attending Australia day events on Wednesday will be required to wear masks at indoor and outdoor settings.

Premier Mark McGowan announced the extra requirement to wear masks outdoors at Australia Day events this year during a press conference on Friday afternoon.

Children under the age of 12 years do not need to wear a face mask and for adults there are some exemptions from wearing a face mask.

The HealthyWA website says people who have a physical or mental illness, condition or disability which makes wearing a face mask unsuitable are exempt from the requirement.

HealthyWA advises asking your registered health practitioner or disability care provider to issue a letter confirming this as penalties may apply for people who fail to comply with the requirement to wear a face mask.

On Friday, January 21 WA Police said the relevant legislation in reference to mask wearing and vaccination proof requirements was COVID restrictions (gatherings and related measures) directions (No10)

A WA Police spokeswoman said under these directions, a business owner or their staff members could ask a patron to leave the premises if that patron refused to wear a mask and refused to provide evidence of a medical exemption.

“If the patron refuses to leave, they are in breach of the directions,’’ she said.

“In this case, the business owner should call the police to assist with removing the patron.’’

She said if a person entered private property and management or the person in charge requested they leave for any reason, including not providing proof of vaccination, failing to comply with the request to leave could constitute an offence of trespass.

It may be an offence to fail to comply with the directions, punishable by imprisonment for up to 12 months or a fine of up to $50,000 for individuals and $250,000 for businesses.

The Australian Human Rights Commission website says state and territory public health orders provide that if a person has a medical condition or a disability that requires them to keep their face uncovered, this is a lawful exemption to having to wear a face mask.

“If you are treated unfairly because you are unable to wear a mask due to a medical condition or a disability, the federal Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) (DDA) may also apply,’’ the website says.

“But if you are refused access or service and want to make a discrimination complaint against a shop owner or service provider under the DDA, you will need to show that there is a clear link between your medical condition or disability and your inability to wear a face mask.”

The commissions advises that if you are not sure about whether you have a sufficiently clear link or a lawful excuse, it is best to seek advice from your medical practitioner.

“If you do not have a medical condition or disability that affects your ability to wear a face mask and are refused entry or service by a shop owner or service provider because you are not wearing a mask, the refusal of entry or service will not be disability discrimination.’’

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has advice for providers on acute medical conditions that warrant a temporary medical exemption relevant for Covid-19 vaccines

The November 2021 advice says there are very few situations where a vaccine is contraindicated and as such, medical exemption is expected to be rarely required.

This morning the Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said WA had recorded 24 new local cases of Covid-19.

Western Australians in the Perth, Peel and South West regions experiencing Covid-19 symptoms are being urged to get tested and isolate immediately even if they have not visited a listed exposure site.

  • Globally as of January 21 there have been more than 340 million confirmed cases of Covid-19, including more than 5.5 million deaths, reported to the World Health Organization
  • As of January 18 a total of more than 9.5 billion vaccine doses have been administered.