Face masks will become mandatory across Melbourne and Mitchell Shire in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19 across the city.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the drastic new measure on Sunday as the state recorded another 363 cases and three more deaths from the deadly respiratory disease.
Those who disobey the new government directive will face a $200 fine.
‘Masks and face coverings will be mandatory for everyone in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire,’ he said.
He said the mask did not necessarily need to be a hospital-grade mask, and could be a home-made face covering like a scarf.
Face masks will become mandatory across Melbourne in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19 (pictured, medical workers in Melbourne on Saturday)
Mr Andrews said there would be exceptions to the order in cases where it’s not practical or masks cannot be worn for professional reasons.
The latest figures come after Victoria recorded 217 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, a substantial drop from Friday’s record 428, as Premier Daniel Andrews warned residents to stay at home.
‘This is not an ordinary weekend. Stay at home means just that. It means stay at home, unless you need to go out. And then only for the things that you absolutely need,’ Mr Andrews warned on Saturday.
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said Saturday’s number of cases were a ‘relief’ compared to Friday’s infections, which soared to 428, the highest daily total recorded.
‘Today’s number of 217 new cases is a relief after yesterday’s number, certainly a relief to someone like me who has been watching the daily numbers for six months … 217 is much better than a number above 400,’ he said.
‘But it is a number that would have shocked us all a month ago.
‘We need to remember it is still a high number, it will contribute to the number of active cases and again, there will be a number of people hidden in this number today who will require hospitalisation or intensive care in days to come.’
Victoria recorded 217 coronavirus infections on Saturday after reporting its highest daily total on Friday
There are 112 coronavirus patients in hospital in Victoria and 25 in intensive care.
Mr Andrews said the large reduction in cases from the previous day was promising.
‘The heartening thing is there are more tests than yesterday and about half the cases,’ he said.
Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos said three new aged care homes had reported coronavirus cases on Saturday, including two in regional Victoria.
‘We continue to be concerned about the number of outbreaks that we across aged care facilities in Victoria,’ she said.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has warned residents to stay at home as COVID-19 cases soar (pictured, people walk through Fitzroy Gardens in East Melbourne on Saturday)
‘They have been to date concentrated in Melbourne, now having facilities in regional communities as well is concerning and just highlights the fact that all Victorians need to be vigilant about this highly contagious virus at the present time.’
The three aged care homes are Bethlehem Aged Care in Ballarat, Bill Crawford Lodge in Bendigo and Bupa in Edithvale.
A Melbourne man was also fined $1652 after police caught him travelling 32km to buy his favourite butter chicken.
He was one of 74 people fined within the last 24 hours for breaching public health orders amid the city wide lockdown.
Fears are also growing that Melbourne’s deadly second wave has spread to New South Wales after 15 new cases were reported in the state on Saturday.
New South Wales health authorities warned McDonald’s diners at a restaurant south of Sydney to keep a look out for symptoms after it was visited by two infected cases.
The duo attended the bistro at the Soldiers Club in Batemans Bay on July 13 between 7 and 9.30pm and McDonald’s at Albion Park on July 15 between 2 and 2.30pm.
NSW Health authorities are asking residents who were at the bistro of the Soldiers Club in Batemans Bay (pictured) on July 13 between 7 and 9.30pm immediately self-isolate
Health authorities are asking residents who were at the bistro over the same time period to immediately self-isolate for two weeks.
McDonald’s diners have also been advised to watch for symptoms.
In NSW, one new infection was linked to Thai Rock restaurant in Wetherill Park, while four cases were recorded in hotel quarantine and five remain under investigation.
There are now 45 COVID-19 cases connected to the Crossroads Hotel outbreak in Casula, Sydney’s south-west, after an additional five people tested positive.
Victoria has recorded a total of 5353 COVID-19 cases and NSW has recorded 3,361 infections.
There are now 45 COVID-19 cases connected to the Crossroads Hotel outbreak in Casula, Sydney’s south-west, after an additional five people tested positive (pictured)