New Rules Around Mask-Wearing Announced in Victoria

Premier Daniel Andrews has announced that mask-wearing will remain a mandatory measure in Victoria for the long term, as the state slowly eases out of lockdown restrictions.

“As I’ve said before, wearing a face-covering is a small sacrifice — but it makes a huge difference in keeping all of us safe. Because fundamentally, that’s what all of this comes down to,” Andrews said.

While masks are mandatory for the foreseeable future for residents in Victoria, there have been changes made to some of the mask-wearing rules. According to The Age, Victorians will now be required to wear a fitted face mask which covers the nose and mouth. Bandanas, scarves and face shields will no longer be accepted and you could face a fine if you’re out and about in the state wearing one of these three.

“Some of the concessions we made as we adjusted to this new normal — things like wearing a scarf or a bandana or a face shield — will no longer apply,” Premier Andrews said in a statement.

But, there is one slight exception. You are able to wear a face shield in conjunction with a tight-fitting mask underneath but not simply a shield by itself, as according to Andrews, it doesn’t properly cover your nose and mouth.

“You can wear one if you want, in terms of your eyes, but it would need to be accompanied by a mask,” he said. “We would recommend a two-ply mask, but anything is better than nothing — but a shield [on its own] is akin to not wearing a face covering.”

The Premier has given residents two weeks to get used to this new rule and after this time period, Victorians will be fined $200 if they’re not wearing an appropriate face mask while outside the home (without a valid reason).

“There’s a two-week lag there. We’ll give people the opportunity to transition,” Andrews said.

“People have been amazing with this. There‘s been a few cases of people who for whatever reason refuse to wear masks but the vast majority of people, not just in Melbourne, but regional Victoria, they see it as, not something anyone is happy to do, but they see it as something that’s possible and you get a significant benefit from that.”

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