MASKS and face coverings will be mandatory for all Victorians from Monday.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced in his daily briefing on Thursday that from 11.59 pm on Sunday rules on masks and face coverings would cover the entire state.
Mr Andrews said the rules were being introduced to maintain low case numbers in regional Victoria.
“By covering your face, you’re keeping local businesses open, and keeping local people in work.”
It comes as Victoria went through it's darkest day of the pandemic.
Thursday saw the largest spike recorded in the state, with 723 new cases recorded as well as 13 deaths.
Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh urged all regional Victorians to comply with the direction.
“This might sound extreme, but just look at Thursday’s numbers, just look at the aged care sector debacle in Melbourne and just look around our community – this is a no-brainer,” he said.
“Regional Victorians have taken this very seriously from the word go, and still are, so I expect from Monday to see masks everywhere I turn.
“If not masks, then certainly face coverings, but I would strongly recommend people try and only use those with the highest health ratings because we want to ensure we stop this spreading any further than it currently has.”
Mr Walsh said while people should wear masks in public, he also urged residents to consider if they needed to leave the house at all.
“I would also appeal to everyone to once again limit their movements as much as possible. If you want to catch up with a friend, ring them.
“If you want to go out, ask yourself if it is essential. If you want to go shopping, check if the shop will home deliver — many of them are, or will.
“It is up to us to help stem the soaring numbers Melbourne is recording, we are the new frontline and the last place we want to see infections is in our retirement villages and amongst our older residents.”
Campaspe Shire Council chief executive Declan Moore said it was hoped community members would continue to do the right thing.
“Throughout the pandemic we have continued to respond to the directions from government and the chief health officer,” he said.
“Today’s announcement to wear face coverings are to stop the virus seeping into regional Victoria and to ensure the safety of all Victorians.
“We would encourage our community to keep up the good work, follow directions as they are announced, to ensure we can reduce the number of community transmissions to keep our family, friends and the wider community safe.”
Rules on masks will also directly impact schools within the area, with the Department of Education and Training saying all students over the age of 12 will be required to wear a mask outside of primary school.
A number of businesses across Echuca will continue to sell masks.
Cadell Food Services’ Colin Hanley said there was no reason for panic.
“Companies were prepared for this,” he said.
“We've spoken to our suppliers, there is more than enough masks out there. They will be coming and no-one will run out.”
Companies currently selling masks include Cheap as Chips, Cadell Food Services, Big W, Rich River First Aid, Bunnings and the Post Office.
Chemist Warehouse is currently out of stock, however businesses can make contact and submit orders for their own establishments.
Amcal Pharmacy, Coles and The Sweet Meadow are anticipating stock deliveries in coming days, while Woolworths is awaiting confirmation on its next shipment.
Bloom by Bee is continuing to work through orders, but has requested patience.
Molato by Nicole has requested no further orders be placed due to a shortage of supply, but will advise by its Facebook page when further stock is available.
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