Effectively stage four”: Face masks mandatory Victoria-wide as state records record 723 cases
Mandatory face covering rules will apply to the entirety of Victoria from midnight Sunday as authorities reported a record 723 new coronavirus cases today.
In a move to what Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews described as “effectively stage four” restrictions across the state, a mandate for face coverings to be worn across metropolitan Melbourne will be extended to regional areas indefinitely.
That means from Sunday 2 August at 11:59pm, a face covering will be mandatory whenever you leave home.
Residents in six local government areas surrounding the Geelong corridor will also be barred from having visitors in their homes or visiting the homes of others from midnight tonight, as cases begin to pop up outside Melbourne’s stage three ‘stay at home’ zone.
To date, new cases in regional communities have largely been contained in workplaces. Increasingly though, in some locations, they are seeing a different kind of spread.
That’s why, from 11:59pm tonight, and in the local government areas of Colac-Otway, Greater Geelong, Surf Coast, Moorabool, Golden Plains, and the Borough of Queenscliffe, you will no longer be able to visit people or have visitors at home.
Hospitality venues will be allowed to remain open in these areas because authorities believe infections are occurring from household-to-household in these areas.
Daniel Andrew's said the new mask rules would be challenging for Victorians, but were necessary to curb the state’s second wave.
“It’s inconvenient, it’s challenging, but it’s essentially Stage 4 for Melbourne, and it’s something we can do in regional Victoria without causing significant economic cost, but getting a really significant public health benefit,” he said.
WHAT YOU CAN’T DO
Have visitors in your home.
Go out in public without a face covering (from Monday).
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Visiting hotels, restaurants and cafes is still allowed under the previous social distancing rules.
Junior and community sport competitions are allowed to continue.
Gymnasiums can continue operating with social distancing measures in place.
Schools to remain open.
* Restrictions to apply in the City of Greater Geelong, Borough of Queenscliffe, Surf Coast, Moorabool, Colac Otway and Golden Plains shires from Friday, July 31. Masks mandatory across all of Victoria from Monday, August 3.