World reacts to Melbourne mask rule
The New York Times, CNN, the BBC, even India's Hindustan Times.
They've all published stories reacting to Victoria's controversial decision to enforce mandatory mask-wearing on its citizens.
"Face masks will be mandatory in parts of the Australian state of Victoria from midnight on Wednesday as cases in the region continue to rise," a journalist for CNN wrote after the news broke on Sunday morning.
The Los Angeles Times shared the news with its readers. So, too, did Fox News affiliates in the US.
"After a one-day respite, coronavirus cases in the Australian state of Victoria have risen again, prompting a move to make masks mandatory in metropolitan Melbourne and the nearby shire of Mitchell," the articles read.
The reaction in the press was matched by the response on social media where users expressed shock and surprise at the decision by the Daniel Andrews-led Labor Government.
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Some responses to Daniel Andrews’ FB post on mandatory masks. My fav: “why don’t you just hand cuff and chip is already?” Wowee pic.twitter.com/ChiNGwzUlR— Luke Henriques-Gomes (@lukehgomes) July 19, 2020
The backlash was far from universal. Many Victorians welcomed the move. Anaesthesiologist Dr Pieter Peach was among those who hope the decision will help slow the spread of the virus in the community.
"Everyone in Melbourne wear your masks at work, now," he wrote on Twitter.
"No excuses. And have the confidence to police it yourself. Just do it so you don't make others sick while presymptomatic. This is not a joke right now, at all. It's hit people I work with. It will affect you in some way soon."
Once again @VictorianCHO is calm and clear:— Dr Sandro Demaio (@SandroDemaio) July 19, 2020
Masks mandatory for adults and children over the age of 12 years in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire.
Under 12 years: if possible.
NOT for children under 2 years.
Rest of Victoria recommended.#COVID19Vic #Masks4All #MaskUp
Everyone in Melbourne wear your masks at work, now. No excuses. And have the confidence to police it yourself. Just do it so you don’t make others sick while presymptomatic. This is not a joke right now, at all. It’s hit people I work with. It will affect you in some way soon.— Dr Pieter Peach (@DrPieterPeach) July 15, 2020
In making the announcement on Sunday morning, Mr Andrews said anybody caught outside the home without a mask would face a $200 fine.
"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," he said.
"We're going to be wearing masks in Victoria and potentially in other parts of the country for a very long time. There's no vaccine to this wildly infectious virus and it's a simple thing, but it's about changing habits, it's about becoming a simple part of your routine.
Australia's second-biggest city to make mask-wearing compulsory: Australia's second-biggest city will make it compulsory to wear a mask in public, authorities announced Sunday, as Melbourne steps up efforts to bring a coronavirus outbreak under control.… https://t.co/K8jv9KBEHw— Japan Today News (@JapanToday) July 19, 2020
MELBOURNE - Australia's second-biggest city will make it compulsory to wear a mask in public, authorities announced Sunday, as Melbourne steps up efforts to bring a coronavirus outbreak under control. #BangkokPost #World https://t.co/U9OxZRuQn8— Bangkok Post (@BangkokPostNews) July 19, 2020
"Most of us wouldn't leave home without our keys, we wouldn't leave our home without our mobile phone. You won't be able to leave home without your mask and then wear it where it is absolutely essential to stop the spread of this virus."
Federal health Minister Greg Hunt says Victoria is at the point where masks are now "necessary" in the state and says federal officials "fully and completely support".
"It is necessary, and we are sorry that it has reached this point for all those who were affected. But this is about saving lives and protecting lives."
Originally published as World reacts to Melbourne mask rule