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Melburnians Will Actually Still Need to Wear Masks Outside When Lockdown Ends

Yesterday, the Victorian Government said they wouldn't be needed outside if you can social distance — but that's been changed based on public health advice.
By Sarah Ward
June 10, 2021
By Sarah Ward
June 10, 2021

Melbourne's latest lockdown is set to end at 11.59pm tonight, Thursday, June 10 — and, when it does, a heap of new restrictions will apply across the city. But, before that even happens, the Victorian Government has advised that one rule isn't actually changing, with one of the eased conditions outlined yesterday no longer coming into effect.

Yesterday, Acting Premier James Merlino said masks would no longer be needed outside if you can social distance and maintain a space of 1.5 metres away from other people. But, based on new public health advice, that change is being scrapped.

So, face masks will remain compulsory both indoors and outdoors for the time being, including after 11.59pm this evening. The mask mandate came back into effect in late May in response to the city's latest COVID-19 outbreak, and has remained in place during the city's two-week lockdown — and will now stay in place even when Melburnians are permitted leave the house for any reason they like from this tonight.

Explaining the change in his daily press conference today, Thursday, June 10, Acting Premier Merlino said that "the clear advice from the public health team is we need to continue with wearing masks outdoors." He continued: "it is inconvenient but an easy thing to do. We are used to it, we know it works, and as we come out of this period and lockdown, while we are driving these new cases to ground, I think it is a logical and common sense step to take, and it allows all of the businesses we have outlined yesterday that they can open. Movements can happen. Students can go back to school. This is a small price to pay to make sure that we can proceed with this careful easing out of lockdown with the continuation of this."

Accordingly, those strolls you were planning to take within 25 kilometres of your house — they'll need to involve masks. So will any trip beyond your home in general, both indoors and outdoors, given that you'll now be permitted to venture out for any reason.

The news that the mask mandate will remain in place both outdoors and indoors comes as Victoria reported four new local cases in the 24 hours to midnight last night. Two other new cases have been linked to the state as well, after two Victorian residents travelled through New South Wales to Queensland, and have since tested positive while staying on the Sunshine Coast.

If you're 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 June 10, 2021 by Sarah Ward
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