Face Masks Have Become Mandatory Again Indoors and Outside Throughout Victoria
You'll need to wear one whenever you leave the house during the state's five-day circuit-breaker lockdown.
In response to Melbourne's latest COVID-19 outbreak, the entire state of Victoria has entered a five-day lockdown — which kicked off at 11.59pm last night, Thursday, July 15, and will last until 11.59pm on Tuesday, July 20 at this stage. That means that hard stay-at-home restrictions have returned, and you can only leave your house for five reasons — the familiar four reasons, and to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Also back: wearing compulsory face masks whenever you do leave home.
Announcing the change yesterday, Thursday, July 15, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said that "you only get one chance to go hard and go fast" when it comes to stopping the spread. None of the reinstated rules are new to Melburnians, of course — but it is hoped that bringing them back for the next five days will help stop the growing number of cases linked to the current cluster.
Mask-wise, you obviously need to break out your fitted face coverings and wear them again. Some mask requirements were already in place before lockdown started — including wearing them in all indoor spaces except at home, and outdoors if you can't social distance — but the requirements have now been beefed up even further.
At present, during lockdown, the only place where you don't need to pop a mask on is inside your own home. That said, you'll only be able to leave your house for essential work, shopping for things you need, exercise for two hours within five kilometres of your residence, care and caregiving, and to get vaccinated — however, in each and every one of those situations, you'll have to mask up.
You'll need to wear face masks both indoors and outside, too, unless you have an exemption. And, you'll need to always carry one with you.
With all of Victoria currently in lockdown, the mask rules apply statewide for the five-day period. The Premier will obviously provide further details about what happens next before 11.59pm on Tuesday, July 20.
If you're now 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 July 16, 2021 by Sarah Ward