Current face mask rules and tips for safe travel on public transport this winter

A recent rise in online searches for face mask rules on Victorian public transport has coincided with the removal of mask mandates from many other settings, as well as increased public transport use as more people commute more regularly to their workplace.         

It is still mandatory to wear a face mask on public transport in Victoria unless you’re under 8 years old or have a lawful reason not to, under revised Victorian COVIDSafe settings that come into effect from 11.59am Friday 24 June 2022.   

Public transport users may get a fine of up to $100 if they don’t wear a mask and don’t have a lawful exemption. Authorised Officers are enforcing mask wearing on trains, trams and buses.   

If passengers forget to bring a mask, they can get one at some staffed train stations. The PTV website has a list of regional and metropolitan stations where masks are available.

As well as the risk of catching COVID this winter, Victorians are also facing their first flu season since 2019. Influenza cases have increased sharply in Victoria and most states since late April, after border closures and lockdown measures suppressed the influenza virus’ circulation in 2020-21. The Victorian Government recently announced that all Victorian’s are eligible to get a free flu shot during the month of June.

Top tips for public transport travel this winter

As well as vaccinations and complying with face mask rules, there are practical ways that public transport users can reduce their risk of getting sick and help protect their fellow travellers.

  1. If you can, travel outside of peak times when there are fewer passengers and more space to physically distance. Peak times are 7-9am and 4.30-6.30pm. For train travellers in metropolitan Melbourne, there’s the added bonus of free morning travel if you touch-on and touch-off before 7.15am on weekdays with a positive myki money balance. See Early Bird train travel fares for details. And consider planning your off-peak travel with PTV’s RideSpace tool.
  2. Use RideSpace to choose when you travel, depending on how crowded your train service (and some bus routes) will be. PTV’s RideSpace is an online tool that’s free to use. It tells you how busy metropolitan Melbourne train services, stations and platforms are at certain times of day. This helps you choose services with fewer passengers and more space to physically distance. RideSpace is also currently available for eleven high-traffic Melbourne bus routes: routes 190, 402, 404, 420, 431, 432, 471, 498, 552, 601 and 623.
  3. Always pack a raincoat or umbrella when you use public transport. That way, if it rains you won’t have to crowd in with others under bus, tram or station shelters. And in general, try to stay mindful of keeping a safe distance from others on escalators, platforms, elevators and station concourses. 
  4. Keep your mask on while waiting on platforms, at stops and within stations. Especially if you can’t keep a safe distance from others. Currently, wearing a face mask is only mandatory when you’re inside a bus, train or tram. But wearing a mask in all public transport settings will help further reduce your risk, especially if you’re unable to keep a safe distance for other people – for example, when standing on or moving along a busy train platform or station escalator.  
  5. Practise good hygiene
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before and after you travel
  • Sneeze or cough into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow.
  • If you are unwell, stay home and get tested
  1. Beware of slippery surfaces. Things get slippery in the rainy months. Avoid slips and falls by using handrails on stairs and escalators, and never run on platforms. 

More information:

COVID-19 information and advice for Victorian public transport users, including mask advice: 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Public Transport Victoria (ptv.vic.gov.au)

Latest information on where face masks are mandatory in Victoria:

Face masks - when to wear a face mask | Coronavirus Victoria

Do you have a complaint about public transport?

If you have a complaint about public transport that you haven’t been able to resolve with the transport operator, we want to hear from you.

You can call the PTO on 1800 466 865 or you can This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your phone number and a time that is best to contact you between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

You can also contact us via our online complaint form,  Facebook, The National Relay Service and Translating and Interpreting Service.

If you need assistance with planning your travel call Public Transport Victoria on 1800 800 007.

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