People In New South Wales Strongly Encouraged To Wear Face Masks In Public From Today
The New South Wales government has declared new face mask recommendations in a bid to prevent more coronavirus infections - although stopped short of making them mandatory.
This is in contrast with Victoria, where officials have made it a mandatory requirement for every single person to wear a covering in public, as the state endures a second wave of cases.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said: "I want to stress it is not compulsory, but it is a strong recommendation from [NSW] Health.
"Given where we are in the pandemic, given the risk posed from Victoria and given the rate of community transmission in New South Wales. Where you are in an enclosed space and you cannot guarantee social distancing, you should be wearing a mask.
"I myself, when I next go grocery shopping, will be wearing a mask."
People have been told they should don a face covering in four scenarios: if social distancing is impossible, if you are a public-facing employee, if you are attending a place of worship, or if you live in a place where there has been community transmission.
That covers a hell of a lot of ground, meaning you should just wear one whenever you step outside just to be safe.
More Like ThisMore Like This
It follows similar advice from Woolworths, which also 'strongly encouraged' customers in NSW and the ACT to wear a face covering whenever they're shopping.
Woolworths chief executive Brad Banducci said: "Even though wearing a face covering is not mandatory in NSW, ACT or Queensland, as the largest private sector employer with stores in almost every community, we feel it's important we lead the way in helping reduce community transmission of Covid-19.
"We're asking our teams to lead by example, and this includes our Group Executive Team."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison issued a message over the weekend in support of the measure, hoping people would follow in his footsteps.
View this post on InstagramHad to pop out to pick up a few things here in Sydney, so followed the NSW Premier's advice announced earlier today (and put a mask on in the car before heading into the shops). Protects others you come in contact with in enclosed areas, in particular the retail salespeople just doing their jobs. Not a lot to ask. All in this together. #covid19australia #coronavirusaustralia #covidsafe
A post shared by Scott Morrison (@scottmorrisonmp) on
Posting a photo of himself wearing a mask to Instagram, Australia's leader reminded everyone that we're in this together.
"Had to pop out to pick up a few things here in Sydney, so followed the NSW Premier's advice announced earlier today (and put a mask on in the car before heading into the shops)," he said.
"Protects others you come in contact with in enclosed areas, in particular the retail salespeople just doing their jobs. Not a lot to ask. All in this together."
The advice will stay in place until health authorities believe the pandemic risk has lowered.
Featured Image Credit: PA