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Masks Won't Be Required Outdoors in Melbourne From June 18 As Long As You Can Social Distance

This exact change was announced last week, then retracted — so here's hoping it sticks this week.
By Sarah Ward
June 16, 2021
By Sarah Ward
June 16, 2021

At this point in the COVID-19 pandemic, deja vu has reared its head more than a few times. That definitely applies to the Victorian Government's latest announcement regarding masks, because Melburnians have been in this situation before — just last week, actually. Last Wednesday, it was revealed that masks would no longer be needed outside if you could social distance. Then, last Thursday, that change was retracted. Now, today, Wednesday, June 16, Acting Premier James Merlino has advised that ditching masks outdoors if there's no one within 1.5 metres of you will come into effect from late tomorrow night.

The rule kicks in at 11.59pm on Thursday, June 17 but, in practical terms, that really means Friday, June 18. You'll still be covering up indoors, of course, with masks remaining mandatory inside. But you won't have to wear them outside if you can maintain a 1.5-metre distance from other people while you're getting some fresh air. If you can't keep your space from others, you'll need to keep masking up.

Obviously, you'll still always need to have a mask with you — even if you're heading out for a stroll and no one else seems to be about. You can expect to see more folks around, too, given that the city's 25-kilometre rule is being scrapped, as is the regional travel ban.

Other changes that are coming into effect include allowing gatherings outdoors with up to 20 people, having two people over to your house per day and welcoming in bigger patron numbers at hospitality venues.

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 16, 2021 by Sarah Ward
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