NSW health boss Kerry Chant has urged Sydneysiders to grow accustomed to wearing masks as they might still be required once the vaccine is rolled out
NSW health boss Kerry Chant has warned Sydneysiders they need to get accustomed to wearing masks as they might still be required once the vaccine is rolled out.
Masks were made mandatory in the city on Saturday in a bid to limit the community spread of Covid in the wake of the Northern Beaches outbreak.
Residents are now required to cover their faces when they are in select indoors settings, like shopping centres, public transport, in places of worship, all shops and services, and entertainment venues or face a $200 fine.
And while the Government expects vaccinations to roll out in March after approvals are processed, Ms Chant has warned that the vaccine may not immediately eliminate the virus and additional measures will likely remain.
‘It’s probably prudent that we now get used to wearing masks whenever we’re indoors,’ she said.
‘It’s unlikely the vaccination will eliminate COVID. We now will need to learn to live with it, and some of the practices of mask wearing will be important.’
Masks were made mandatory in the city on Saturday in a bid to limit the community spread of Covid in the wake of the Northern Beaches outbreak (Pictured: Westfield Bondi Junction)
A cafe worker wearing a mask poses for a portrait in Manly after masks were made mandatory
The new rules have already seen some backlash, with dozens of anti-mask and vaccine protesters swarming a shopping centre in Bondi Junction, in Sydney’s east, on Sunday.
The anti-maskers mingled with other shoppers, who were wearing masks, and pushed wild claims such as ‘masks increase your risk of infection’.
One sign read: ‘I fully support your right to hide in your house and wear a face diaper until you can take an untested vax… as long as you fully support my right to do none of those things’.
The protesters marched through the shopping centre and also took their message to surrounding streets, where mask-clad shoppers were queuing to enter stores.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard spoken out on Monday, urging anti-maskers to stay at home and not endanger lives if they refuse to cover their faces.
‘I have noted that there have been some demonstrations in the last 24 hours indicating that some people don’t like the idea of a mask,’ Mr Hazzard said.
Residents are now required to cover their faces when they are in select indoors settings, like shopping centres, public transport, in places of worship, all shops and services, and entertainment venues (Pictured: Westfield Bondi Junction)
Greater Sydney residents have been told wearing a mask will help slow the rate of community transmission while also limiting the economic impact. Pictured, residents in Sydney mask-up over the weekend
‘Well if you don’t like the idea of a mask, then stay home or stay outside.
‘You don’t have to go into the shopping centres and put other people at danger.’
NSW Acting Premier John Barilaro on Sunday reiterated the importance of wearing a mask in stopping the spread of Covid-19.
‘We’re asking people to do the right thing and use common sense,’ he said.
‘Where practical, where possible, please wear a mask and you’re going to help us deal with the issue in relation to the transmission of Covid, especially on public transport.’
The protesters sang chants including ‘I’d rather be a human than a slave’ as they took their anti-mask message to the streets
Residents across Greater Sydney, which includes Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains, are required to cover up.
Children aged under 12 years are not required to wear a mask, though it is strongly encouraged.
It is compulsory to wear a mask in some indoor places including shopping centres and cinemas, and on public transport – which includes trains and buses.
Residents visiting an entertainment venue, hair and beauty salons, gaming areas or places of worship will also have to follow the rules.
Hospitality staff also have to wear a mask while serving customers.
Anyone caught not wearing a mask within these indoor settings risks copping a $200 fine.
The vaccine roll out has been put into question after delay in delivering essential data to the Morrison Government.
A delay in delivering essential data to the Morrison Government means the vaccine may not be ready by March as expected
AstraZeneca, which is being made in Melbourne by CSL, won’t be granted provisional registration by the Therapeutic Goods Administration until next month
AstraZeneca, which is being made in Melbourne by CSL, won’t be granted provisional registration by the Therapeutic Goods Administration until next month, the Daily Telegraph reports.
‘The TGA is expecting further data from AstraZeneca in regard to their COVID-19 vaccine in late January 2021,’ an administration spokeswoman said.
‘Australia is on track to have the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine provisionally registered by the end of January 2021, subject to regulatory requirements being met.’
The vaccine rollout isn’t expected to be approved by the government until the end of March, due to obstacles surrounding paperwork.
But Australians have been reassured medical experts have their ‘finger on the pulse’ of coronavirus vaccine development, despite no timeframe being put in place for the rollout.
The federal government has supply contracts with three vaccine developers and the Therapeutic Goods Administration is working on approvals.
When to wear a face mask:
New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian announced face masks would be mandatory for all Greater Sydney residents from 11.59pm on Saturday.
The rule also applies to residents living Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains.
Whenever a resident leaves their home, they will need to wear a mask when visiting these indoor settings:
1) Entertainment venues, such as a cinema
2) Places of worship, such as a church or mosque
3) Public transport, such as buses and trains
4) Shopping centres
5) Established gaming areas
6) Hair and beauty salons
Anyone who is caught not wearing a face mask risks copping a $200 fine.