Australian face mask regulations are changing daily at the moment, so what do we know so far?
By the end of June, Australia really thought we'd got the countries COVID-19 outbreak under reasonable control. Sadly, we had to think again as new cases in Victoria began to grow at a disastrous rate, sending the state into an extremely rigorous lockdown protocol and the rest of the nation into utter panic.
One rule that was first implemented in Melbourne, was the mandated wearing of masks. While they are still the only state which has implemented this mandate, there is speculation NSW may not be far behind. In a recent press conference, NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian strongly advised we mask up, and mentioned that she would be doing so when moving through public spaces.
As of 11:59 pm, Wednesday 22 July, residents of Metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire are required to wear a mask when in public, extending to the entire state as of yesterday, August 2. In Melbourne, a new curfew has been put in place that people can only be out between 5am - 8pm at night. These regulations are presumed to be in place until September 23. Not wearing a mask while conducting essential activities can result in a $200 fine.
As of August 2, it has been advised that all residents wear a mask for essential activities in any indoor settings or when social distancing is not possible, such as grocery shopping, taking public transport, cafe and supermarket workers, and attending places of worship. So far there are no fines being issued for not following this advice, but it is strongly advised as a safety measure.
The wearing of masks is not recommended nor mandated in Queensland. Current government guidelines state "You don't need to wear a face mask unless your doctor has told you to or you are caring for someone who might have COVID-19."
The wearing of masks is not recommended nor compulsory in South Australia.
The wearing of masks is not recommended nor mandated in Western Australia
The wearing of masks is not compulsory in Tasmania. Tasmania health guidelines recommend "wearing a facemask if you are unwell with COVID-19 symptoms and need to be around other people"
The wearing of masks is not compulsory in the Northern Territory.
The wearing of masks is not compulsory in the ACT however the health advice is as follows: "You can use a mask if you are unwell with respiratory symptoms like coughing and sneezing. You should use a mask if you are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19."
This post was last updated on August 3, 2020.
Image: FTC Masks