IT is now compulsory for people to wear face masks in regional and metropolitan Victoria when leaving their homes.
COVID -19 is spread from close contact with an infected person and can be spread when a person coughs or sneezes.
Face coverings are helpful to stop droplets spreading when someone speaks, laughs, coughs, or sneezes, including from someone who has COVID – 19 but feels well.
The recommendation to wear a face covering does not apply to those aged under 12, individuals with breathing difficulties, and those who have physical conditions that make it difficult to wear face coverings.
While the Chief Health Officer recommends a mask with three-layers, any face mask or covering is better than none.
This includes a scarf or bandana.
Reusable cloth masks should be washed each day after use.
If during the day a mask becomes visibly dirty or wet, don’t continue to wear it – it needs to be washed.
Re-using cloth masks without washing is risky because they can become contaminated or may not be as effective in protecting the wearer.
Cloth masks can be washed in washing machines with other clothes, or hand-washed using soap and the warmest appropriate water setting for the cloth.
Cloth masks should be dry before re-using them. To dry, use the heat setting on a dryer or lay out flat to air dry.
If possible, place the cloth mask in direct sunlight.
Wash hands after handling used face masks.
Keep a face covering on while speaking with other people, and maintain a physical distance of 1.5 metres.
However, it is important to consider people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
In these situations, consider a clear face covering or use written communication, where possible.
Children aged under 12 are not recommended to wear face coverings, but individual families can make their own decisions regarding their children.
Children aged under two should never wear face coverings because of choking and strangulation risks.
The best way to protect against coronavirus is to keep 1.5 metres apart, wash hands often, and cough or sneeze into elbows or tissues.