For example, if you touch the front of the mask while you’re wearing it, then you may pick up the very germs that the mask has protected you from. It is important to only touch the elastic when wearing or removing your mask. But if you do touch the mask, then wash or sanitise your hands immediately.
The Victorian Government has recently mandated wearing masks in public in metropolitan Melbourne or the Mitchell Shire. Outside of these areas the Federal health advice remains, that if you are well then face masks are not required where there is low community transmission of COVID-19 and you can maintain safe social distancing.
You may choose to voluntarily wear a mask if you are in a situation where physical distancing is difficult, such as on public transport or in busy areas like shopping centres.
The main reason to wear a mask is to protect other people, because if you are unknowingly infected, wearing a mask will reduce the chance that you will pass the virus on to others.
Wearing a mask
If you choose to wear a mask, it is important to:
- Wash your hands before putting on the mask.
- Make sure it covers your nose and mouth and fits snugly under your chin, over the bridge of your nose and against the sides of your face.
- Do not touch the front of the mask while wearing it or when removing it. If you do touch the mask, wash or sanitise your hands immediately. Do not allow the mask to hang around your neck.
- Wash or sanitise your hands after removing the mask.
Single-use masks should not be re-used and should be discarded immediately after use. Wash and dry reusable masks after use and store in a clean dry place.
People with chronic respiratory conditions should seek medical advice before using a mask.
Melbournians, however, must wear a mask when leaving home. There are a few exceptions, such as if you cannot wear a mask for medical, practical or professional reasons. For more information visit Health and Human Services. And the Victorian Government has advised that residents must only leave home for four reasons: shopping for food and supplies, caregiving, exercise or work, if you cannot work from home.
Stay to update
It is best to stay informed with your local authority as responses to the coronavirus vary with each state or Territory government: