The wearing of face masks will be mandatory in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire from Wednesday night, with those failing to comply hit with a $200 fine.
The federal government has thrown its support behind an announcement that the wearing of face masks will be mandatory in Victoria’s worst-hit coronavirus areas from 11:59pm on Wednesday night.
“If you are out of your home for one of the four permitted reasons, then you need to be wearing a mask and I stress – or a face covering,” Premier Daniel Andrews announced Sunday.
“It need to stress it not be a hospital-grade mask, it not be one of the handmade masks like I was wearing when I came in today. It can be a scarf, it can be a homemade mask.”
Anyone in Greater Melbourne or Mitchell Shire caught without a mask or face covering will be fined $200.
Federal health Minister Greg Hunt says Victoria is at the point where masks are now “necessary” in the state and says federal officials “fully and completely support”.
“It is necessary, and we are sorry that it has reached this point for all those who were affected. But this is about saving lives and protecting lives.”
He said face masks would not be mandatory across the country and that “at this stage, the medical expert panel hasn’t identified a level such as that in other states and territories”.
Meanwhile, Mr Andrews said an order of at least 2.5 million masks was on its way to Melbourne, with the “first significant batch” expected to arrive this week.
He told reporters “common sense” will guide when people need to don a mask, adding the decision had been made on the advice of Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton.