Face Masks Will Become Mandatory Again Throughout Victoria From February 13
You'll need to wear one whenever you leave the house during the state's snap five-day lockdown.
In response to Melbourne's growing Holiday Inn COVID-19 cluster, the entire state of Victoria will enter a five-day lockdown from 11.59pm on Friday, February 12 until the same time on Wednesday, February 17. That means that stage four restrictions will be back in effect, and you'll only be able to leave your house for the now-familiar four reasons. Also returning: wearing compulsory face masks whenever you do leave home.
Announcing the change today, Friday, February 12, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said that "this hyper-infectious variant is moving at hyper-speed", and that advice to return to lockdown and bring back masks came on the advice of public health experts. None of the reinstated rules are new to Melburnians, of course — but it's hoped that bringing them back for a "circuit-breaker action" will help stop the spread of cases linked to the current cluster.
Mask-wise, you'll need to break out your fitted face coverings and wear them. Some mask requirements do currently exist — including wearing them in public indoor spaces, which has been back in effect since Wednesday, February 3 — but the requirements are now being beefed up even further.
Once midnight hits tonight, the only place you won'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, and for care and caregiving — 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.
While the present cases are linked to Melbourne, the mask rules — and the snap lockdown— apply statewide for the five-day period. The Premier will provide further details about what happens next before 11.59pm on Wednesday, February 17.
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 February 12, 2021 by Sarah Ward