Victoria records 363 new cases, masks mandatory

Victoria has announced 363 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, and three more deaths.

The figure comes after the state recorded 428 cases on Friday, its highest daily case count in the pandemic so far. On Saturday the number dipped to 217.

Three more people died from the disease overnight. All three were aged in their 90s. NSW also recorded 18 new cases of coronavirus, including five in hotel quarantine and five connected to a breakout linked to a Thai restaurant.  

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has warned if people do not follow new rules to wear face coverings the state will be forced to move to tougher restrictions.

People in Melbourne will be hit with a $200 fine in they leave the house without a mask.

"If you are out of your home for one of the four permitted reasons, then you need to be wearing a mask or a face covering," Andrews said.

"I need to stress it not be a hospital-grade mask. It can be a scarf, it can be a homemade mask.

"This is on the advice of the chief health officer that it's a relatively simple thing but it's also about embedding behaviour which I think is just as important on the other side of this second wave as it is in bringing these case numbers down.

"If we can see high degrees of compliance, if we see people wearing masks, so all of us when we're out and about for those four lawful reasons wearing masks, then that will mean it is less likely we have to move to things like only doing daily exercise, for instance, in your own local postcode," he said.

"Or things like saying - well, you can only go shopping within a certain radius or certain distance from your home.

"We don't want to get to those steps, if we have to, we will, but the next step in our fight against this virus is for everybody to be wearing masks when they're out for those four permitted reasons."

"We're going to be wearing masks in Victoria and potentially in other parts of the country for a very long time. "

Mr Andrews said you wouldn't leave home without your keys or your mobile phone so you should not leave without a mask.

"Common sense will be the rule here," he said.

"If you're out running, part of your daily exercise, then it may not be practical to wear the mask while you are running. But you should bring the mask with you and you should wear it before and after you have gone for your run."

Mr Andrews said he wanted to remind Victorians that the four reasons were not an invitation to leave your home.

"They are acceptable reasons that you can leave your home. But only when you need to, only when you really have no other option.

"Stay-at-home means just that - stay-at-home - and moderate your behaviour, spend much more time at home than you otherwise would.

"That should be your default setting and work your way backwards from then. Do I need to go shopping every single day? Do I need the items I was going shopping for?"



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