Pleas to cover up to stop spread
ALL Victorians in lockdown have been told to wear face masks to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
Amid soaring daily increases in case numbers, the state government on Friday changed its advice over the use of face masks and requested any resident of metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire to wear them if outside and unable to physically distance.
Premier Daniel Andrews said it would not be mandatory to wear a mask but urged people to heed the updated advice, particularly when on public transport, in taxis or Ubers, and when shopping.
“This is not something that is going to be for a week or even six weeks, masks in those circumstances where you can’t maintain distance will be a feature of our response to the pandemic for the foreseeable future — for many, many months,” he said.
“It is our request of you, it’s not compulsory.”
The recommendations apply to adults over 18.
Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said wearing masks at school wasn’t feasible. “Kids can’t necessarily wear the masks in the same way that adults can,” he said.
Consideration will be given to advice around wearing face masks at work after consultation with unions and industry groups.
The government has moved to source two million reusable masks, and one million singleuse masks, to boost supply.
But Mr Andrews said homemade masks or scarfs would be appropriate.
The Rail, Tram and Bus Union had been lobbying for the use of face masks.
“I am pleased that the government has finally backed in our call for the travelling public to wear masks when travelling on public transport,” RTBU branch secretary Luba Grigorovitch said.