The call to mask-up across NSW is growing louder, with rural doctors joining the fray.
President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA), Dr John Hall, said while wearing a mask may not be compulsory, it "was still a great way of keeping rural areas protected from the spread of COVID-19".
"Wearing a mask or face covering provides an extra layer of COVID safety on top of social distancing and hand washing," Dr Hall said.
Most rural communities, including the New England and Northern Tablelands region, remain COVID free and the aim is to keep it that way.
Dr Hall is urging people to add that "extra layer of protection" now, instead of waiting for things to get out of hand.
"There are many, many situations in the community when you just can't be sure about who you are coming in close contact with," he said.
"If you are getting your hair cut? It's a good idea to wear a mask. If you are in the supermarket? Mask. At the pub for a quick drink? Unless the glass is actually at your mouth - wear a mask."
"We just want to see everyone as safe as possible, so we really do encourage people living in rural communities to get ahead of the curve on mask-wearing so we can keep our COVID numbers as low as possible," Dr Hall said.
He also said rural Australians should identify their 'safety bubble' in a COVID world - and "protect it from popping by avoiding mixing with those outside it, or taking all the safety precautions if they have to".
"If everyone in your 'bubble' makes sure that when they are mixing outside of the group they take all the usual COVID risk management strategies, your bubble can be kept safe," he said.