A state of disaster has been declared by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews due to the ongoing rise in COVID-19 cases, with Melbourne now in stage 4 lockdown and rural Victoria entering stage 3. Face masks have also been made mandatory. It's as simple as this, if you leave a house, wear a mask or face a $200 fine.
Daniel Andrews said it was a "relatively simple" measure that would help slow the spread of the virus. "Most of us wouldn't leave home without our keys, we wouldn't leave our home without our mobile phone — you won't be able to leave home without your mask," he said. There are however a few exemptions from wearing a mask which we've outlined below.
So what exactly are the rules around wearing a face mask in Victoria?
- As of August 2, all Victorians must wear a face covering when they leave home, no matter where they live.
Who is exempt from wearing a face mask?
- Infants and children under the age of 12 years.
- If you're out doing "Strenuous exercise includes activities like jogging, running or cycling but not walking," you don't have to wear a mask, but you need to carry one with you and put it on when you stop.
- People with medical conditions where it may be hard for them to breathe while wearing a mask.
- People who are deaf or hard of hearing, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
- People who find it difficult to put on and remove a mask due to physical disabilities are also exempt from wearing a mask.
- If you're going to places where you need to be identified like banks, you don't have to wear one, but make sure you wear it to and from.
- When you are travelling in a vehicle by yourself or with other members of your household.
- When consuming food, drink or medication, including when seated at a restaurant where permitted.