From midnight tonight people living in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will be required to wear a face covering when leaving home, following a horror run of coronavirus cases in recent days.
Premier Daniel Andrews urging residents in the hotspot areas, “By covering our faces, we’re protecting ourselves, our families and every single Victorian. So please – just as you remember your house keys, please remember something to cover your face.”
“I understand this is a big shift and that not being able to see each other’s faces might be confronting. But this virus is incredibly infectious – and this is about keeping people safe,” said the Premier.
The fine if caught not wearing a face covering from midnight tonight is $200.
The government, however, has made some allowances regarding the wearing of face masks.
Those who have a medical reason, kids under 12 years of age, those who have a professional reason or if it’s just not practical, like when running, you will not be fined.
“However you will still be expected to carry your face covering at all times to wear when you can,” the Premier explained.
“In our schools, that’ll mean teachers don’t have to wear a face covering while teaching – but students attending for VCE, VCAL or for onsite supervision will, while everyone will be expected to wear one on the way to and from school.
“Otherwise, if you’re leaving your home for one of the four reasons, you need to cover your face.”
He said face coverings in regional Victoria continue to be recommended in situations where maintaining 1.5 metres distance is not possible – however regional Victorians will have to wear a mask when visiting metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire for one of the permitted reasons.
The State of Emergency has also extended until 11.59pm on 16 August, allowing for the enforcement of this direction and other vital public health directions from the Chief Health Officer.
For information about coronavirus or to find your nearest testing site, visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au or call 1800 675 398.