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Melburnians Are No Longer Allowed to Remove Their Face Masks to Drink Alcohol in Public

The city's mask rules have been tightened following large outdoor gatherings and outdoor venue crawls during lockdown.
By Sarah Ward
August 16, 2021
By Sarah Ward
August 16, 2021

It's been a month since Melbourne's mask rules last changed, with compulsory face coverings brought back into effect in mid-July in tandem with the city's fifth lockdown. Now, in mid-August, Melbourne is currently almost two weeks into its sixth lockdown — and mask requirements didn't change during the nine days between stay-at-home stints.

But, come 11.59pm tonight, Monday, August 16, the rules around donning face coverings will tighten even further. At Victoria's daily COVID-19 press conference today, Premier Daniel Andrews announced that Melburnians will no longer be allowed to remove their face masks if they're out of the house and drinking alcoholic beverages in public.

The move comes in response to reports over the weekend of people flouting lockdown restrictions with venue crawls and big outdoor gatherings.

So, Melburnians obviously need to keep wearing their fitted face coverings whenever they're not at home, including both indoors and outside. In fact, the only place where you don't need to pop on a mask is inside your own house, which means that you always need to carry one with you. That said, you were previously allowed to take off your face covering to eat and drink while you're out — but if you're sipping something boozy, that exemption no longer applies.

A number of other lockdown rules are changing, too, with stay-at-home conditions extended until at least 11.59pm on Thursday, September 2, a curfew put in place between 9pm–5am and authorised worker permits being reintroduced. Yes, many of these requirements applied in Melbourne's lengthy second lockdown in 2020 as well, so they'll sound familiar.

Also changing: the closure of playgrounds, basketball hoops, skate parks and outdoor exercise equipment. So, if they've been a part of your out-of-the-house workout routine, they won't be anymore. And, you can now only exercise with one other person, plus any dependents you both have, even if you live in a larger household. The two-hour exercise time limit remains the same, though.

If you're still wondering where to grab a fitted mask, we've put together a rundown of local companies making and selling them.

For more information about the status of COVID-19 and the current restrictions, head over to the Department of Health and Human Services website.

Published on August 16, 2021 by Sarah Ward
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