Important information for retailers on face coverings 

As COVID-19 infections rates continue to cause significant challenges in Victoria, and with new rules around face coverings in Melbourne and Mitchell shire to be extended to the rest of the state of Victoria from Sunday 2 August at 11:59pm,WorkSafe Victoria has updated its COVID-19 Regulations to ensure timely notification of potential workplace transmission of COVID‑19. 

Face Coverings are gathering momentum globally as either a protocol (voluntary) or a condition of entry (mandatory) to retail stores, as evidence shifts towards their impact on reducing COVID-19 infection rates.

We’ve created some useful FAQ’s on this topic for your reference. Please note: most of this information currently applies to the situation in Victoria and legislation within each state will vary.

Some of the questions and answers include include:

Q: When are my staff required to wear a face covering?

A: Face coverings must be worn by retail staff within Victoria. They are also required to be worn within some other retail environments such as hairdressing, barbering, and beauty salons, where social distancing cannot be practised. The adoption of face masks for other retail locations is at the discretion of each retailer.

Q: Who is responsible for enforcing the wearing of face coverings?

A: Police are responsible for enforcing public health orders, such as those requiring face coverings in Victoria.

Q: What can I do about customer aggression?

A: Each store will have its own customer relations process and protocols, however when it comes to the wearing of face coverings within Victoria, if a person refuses to calm down and continues to be offensive or aggressive, we recommend reminding the person of the government requirements around face coverings and politely asking the person to leave the premises.

Q: Could I get into trouble if customers don’t wear face masks?

A: Under Occupational Health and Safety laws, businesses have a responsibility for the safety and
wellbeing of their staff. This includes failing to take reasonable measures to ensure staff can work
safely, and that includes exposure to COVID-19.

Click on the link below to see the full list of questions and answers.




We are conscious that there are many sensitivities and extra concerns with customer aggression as the pandemic period extends and intensifies in some parts of the country. Recent media and social media coverage has heightened these in-store issues and we have included some information around the management of these incidents. We will be sure to update you with more information as things evolve.

ARA members can contact the membership team on 1300 368 041 or email for any additional queries or concerns, or for any difficulties sourcing masks for your teams.



How consumers will be shopping, spending and saving this Christmas

“Christmas is the most critical time of year on the retail calendar, and despite rising interest rates, inflationary concerns and staff shortages, businesses are looking to the festive trading period with cautious optimism.” says Paul Zahra, CEO, Australian Retailers Association How will Aussies be balancing shopping, spending and saving this Christmas

Read More »