Victorian premier Dan Andrews has officially asked Victorians to start wearing masks when out in public, particularly when they are unable to socially distance. The announcement comes as Victoria records 288 new cases of coronavirus, 262 of which are currently under investigation.
In a press conference on Friday, July 10, Andrews said: “As you know, there has been, for some time now, a bit of debate about what point masks become important.”
Andrews said the government is advising the public to wear a mask in places where you can't socially distance like when you're in an Uber or taxi, on public transport or shopping at a supermarket.
It is still not compulsory for Victorians to wear a mask when unable to physically distance in public, with Andrews saying “if you can wear a mask where you can't distance, that is exactly what we would like you to do.”
To encourage Victorians to wear masks, the state government is currently in the process of making and distributing two million reusable masks to the community. As this may take some time, one million single-use masks will be handed out to “priority groups”.
The request to wear masks when unable to physically distance comes after the same advice was given by deputy chief medical officer Dr Nick Coatsworth on July 9.