Masks outside still mandatory in Melbourne


Melbourne’s lockdown will ease as planned from tonight but a mask mandate will remain in place.

“I can confirm that the easing of restrictions that we announced yesterday will proceed as planned from 11.59pm tonight, with one small exception for Melbourne,” Acting Premier James Merlino said today.

“Masks will continue to be required to be worn outdoors in all circumstances.”

Acting Premier James Merlino said masks must still be worn outdoors in Melbourne as lockdown eases. (Nine)

Victoria recorded four new local cases of coronavirus to midnight.

The new locally acquired cases are from the same household in Reservoir, in Melbourne’s north, and investigations into the source of the infections are underway.

Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng said they were not close contacts of known infections.

“They’re not identified as close contacts, none of them has given a history of being at an exposure site,” Professor Cheng said.

“The first man, a man in his 80s, was tested on June 8 and got his result yesterday. The other members of the household tested positive yesterday as well.

“We’re already tested several close contacts of these cases outside of the household and they’ve all come back negative but obviously will remain in quarantine.”

Deputy Chief Health Officer Allen Cheng said health advice recommended masks still be worn outside in Melbourne. (9News)
Professor Cheng said the continued requirement to wear masks outside was based on concern around mystery infection.

“These new cases are really the strongest reminder that we are, by no means, out of the woods yet,” he said.

“Over the last fortnight, there have been very limited opportunities for people to transmit infection during lockdown, and obviously what I am anxious about is whoever gave the infection to both these groups is identified quickly and doesn’t have the opportunity to transmit to other people.”

Lockdown will end at 11.59pm tonight for Melbourne. (Getty)

More than 23,000 people came forward to be tested yesterday.

From 11.59pm tonight, Melburnians will be able to exit lockdown, meaning the five reasons to leave home will no longer apply.

Private household gatherings are still prohibited, but public gatherings up to 10 people outdoors will be allowed, hospitality and retail sectors will reopen and students will return to schools.

However, settings deemed high-risk such as gyms, amusement parks, dance studios and nightclubs will remain closed.

It comes as interstate health authorities race to prevent coronavirus outbreaks after a COVID-positive woman and her husband drove from Melbourne to the Sunshine Coast via New South Wales.

Her husband has since also tested positive.

Nearly 30 new COVID-19 exposure sites have been added to Victoria’s list, including multiple days and times for aged care home Arcare Maidstone.

Coles Bundoora Square has been marked as a Tier Two site after a person shopped at the supermarket while potentially infectious.

Marco Fine Food & Groceries at Reservoir Central has been listed as a Tier One site requiring anyone who attended at the time to isolate for 14 days and get tested.

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