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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Brisbanites Are Now Encouraged to Wear Masks in Crowded Situations

The recommendation follows the reintroduction of social gathering limits for the Greater Brisbane area over the past weekend.
By Sarah Ward
August 24, 2020
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Brisbanites Are Now Encouraged to Wear Masks in Crowded Situations

The recommendation follows the reintroduction of social gathering limits for the Greater Brisbane area over the past weekend.
By Sarah Ward
August 24, 2020
  shares

Over the last few days, Queensland's COVID-19 situation has started to change rapidly, resulting in the reintroduction of social gathering limits for the Greater Brisbane area. While the Sunshine State hasn't reinstated any other restrictions at the time of writing, the Queensland Government is now recommending that Brisbanites begin wearing a face mask in certain situations.

On Monday, August 24, Chief Medical Officer Dr Jeannette Young advised that Queenslanders living in the Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan City, Scenic Rim, Somerset, Lockyer Valley, Moreton Bay and Redlands local government areas should think about covering their faces "if you can't maintain social distancing". Dr Young's specific advice: "if you're in a crowded situation that you can't get out of, put a mask on". Her recommendation comes as the state identified one new COVID-19 patient linked to the growing number of cases it is calling the Brisbane Youth Detention Centre cluster, and as authorities keep warning that more positive cases are likely.

Situations where Brisbanites might want to think about donning facial coverings include visiting crowded areas such as shopping centres or markets, catching public transport, or anywhere where it is not possible to maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres from other people.

Dr Young included a strong caveat with her recommendation, however, advising that folks shouldn't stop social distancing because they're wearing a mask. "Social distancing, that 1.5 metres, is far more effective than a mask," she noted. "Masks are not totally foolproof, they will not protect you totally, whereas maintaining social distancing and washing your hands will protect the vast majority of people in the vast majority of situations."

Monday, 24 August – coronavirus cases in Queensland:• 1 new confirmed case• 18 active cases• 1,106 total confirmed...

Posted by Annastacia Palaszczuk MP on Sunday, 23 August 2020

Also pivotal, as Dr Young also stressed: getting tested at the first sign of even the slightest of COVID-19 symptoms. They include coughs, fevers, a sore or scratchy throat, shortness of breath, and the loss of smell or taste.

The advice regarding masks isn't compulsory and won't be enforced, so you won't be fined if you don't comply. At the moment, it's just a suggestion for residents of Greater Brisbane — although, as a precaution, hospital patients, visitors and staff in the metro north, metro south and West Moreton regions have been specifically asked to consider wearing masks throughout medical facilities.

Down south, masks have been compulsory in Melbourne since mid-July — so if you're now wondering which type of face mask is best, where to get them or how to make your own, the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services website has put together a guide, including step-by-step instructions for putting together your own three-layer face mask at home. You'll also find information about how to wear a mask correctly, how to take it off, and when to wash and replace it.

Of course, you could always order a custom mask with your pet's face on it, too.

For more information about the status of COVID-19 in Queensland, head to the QLD COVID-19 hub and the Queensland Health website.

Published on August 24, 2020 by Sarah Ward

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