It's currently mandatory for Victorians to wear face masks outdoors and in public indoor spaces. You must cover your face when leaving your home. Naturally, there are always a few questions about when you have to wear a mask, including queries about exercise and driving. Below are some answers.
For further clarification, please consult the Victorian government website.
When do you need to wear a mask?
Everyone over the age of 12 who lives in Victoria has to wear a mask every time they leave their house. This means that you need to be wearing a mask when going for a walk, buying food, picking up takeaway, and going to and from your car.
Do you need to wear a mask when driving?
If you are in the car by yourself or with someone from your household, you don’t have to wear a face mask while driving. But, you should carry one with you for when you get out of the car. If you're ordering drive-through or going to get tested or anything else you might do in a car that involves other people, you should be wearing a mask. You also need to wear a mask in an Uber or taxi, whether you are the driver or passenger.
Do you need to wear a mask when walking outside?
Can I remove my mask to eat or drink?
You can lower your mask to take a sip or eat something, but you should put your mask back on as soon as you are finished. From August 17 onwards, you aren't allowed to remove your mask to drink alcohol in public.
Do you need to wear a mask when running? Cycling? Doing a HIIT workout?
The current rules state that you don't need to wear a face mask when exercising if you are out of breath or puffing. However, whether you’re walking to your starting point or walking home once you’re no longer puffing, you need to put a mask on. You should have a mask with you at all times.
Are there other exceptions?
People with certain medical conditions won’t have to wear masks, notably those who may find it difficult to breathe while wearing a mask or those who find it hard to put on and remove masks due to physical disabilities.
Where can you get a mask?
You can make one yourself out of materials like socks, or you can buy one from a local maker. Make sure you wash your masks after each use (you can chuck 'em in the washing machine or hand-wash in very hot water) and dry them outside in direct sunlight if you can.
How do I wear a mask correctly?
Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds before putting on or taking off your mask. While you wear it, don’t touch it. Make sure it fits snugly over your nose, mouth and chin – there’s absolutely no use in wearing one if you’re just going to have it hanging on your chin.
Resources to read about mask use:
- Here is an explainer by the World Health Organisation on the do's and don'ts of mask use.
- Here is an infographic from the DHHS on how to make a cloth mask.
- Here is scientist Bill Nye explaining how effective wearing a mask is.
- Here's a handy explainer about how to communicate with deaf people when you're wearing a mask.