Victorians will be wearing masks until at least the end of the year, according to Premier Daniel Andrews.
On Sunday, the Premier revealed a wide-ranging easing of restrictions, including the lifting of the so-called “ring of steel” that had been encircling Melbourne.
However, Mr Andrews refused to budge on the mandatory mask-wearing rules that have been in place since October 11.
“You need to wear them and you need to wear them properly,” he said during his Sunday press conference.
On Sunday the Premier refused to be drawn on a timeline for the lifting of the mask-wearing rule, however, he gave some indication when quizzed on the matter last Tuesday.
“We will be wearing masks, I think, at least into the end of the year and we could wear them into next year.”
Under current rules, Victorians must wear a fitted face mask when outside of their home and not eating or drinking.
However, some epidemiologists have questioned whether the rule is still necessary as the number of cases across the state continues to drop.
The Age reports that Melbourne University epidemiologist Tony Blakely says that the government should consider relaxing mask rules.
He has suggested that the rules should be eased to just apply to people in crowded outdoor areas, on public transport and in busy indoor areas.