Local News

Masks now mandatory in NSW and Victoria

 New South Wales Coronavirus News 600x628

People on the south coast will need to grab their masks this morning.

New South Wales and Victoria joined the ACT, Queensland and Tasmania in bringing back mandatory masks for indoor settings.

The mask rules that were ditched on December 15 in NSW came back into effect from 12:01am on Friday (December 24), while compulsory QR Code Check In's for businesses including hospitality and retail will return from 12:01am on Monday (December 27).

Businesses that have removed their QR codes do not need to reapply but can reprint their previous QR code.

Masks will be compulsory in all indoor non-residential settings, including for hospitality staff and in offices, unless eating or drinking.

Hospitality venues in the Eurobodalla and Bega Valley including pubs, restaurants and cafes will move to 1 person per 2 square metre rule from Monday (December 27) as well, with no density limit for outdoor settings.

All settings will remain in place until Thursday, 27 January 2022.

The NSW Government urged south coast residents without symptoms or close exposure to avoid joining testing clinic queues and instead take rapid at-home tests.

Tania Dwyer from Dodd & Dwyer Pharmacy in Merimbula praised the government's decision to make rapid antigen tests free as local demand has skyrocketed.

"Unprecedented demand, it's the mask and toilet paper fiasco all over again," Ms Dwyer said. 

"It's unbelievably but it is great to see because in our society everybody is wanting to do the right thing," she said. 

"We don't want to spread this virus around any more than we have to, we want to keep our friends and family safe so that's why there's the demand, no one wants to get COVID.

Rapid-Antigen Test kits will soon be made available for free across the State as an additional testing option and to allow those who need to get a PCR test to do so.

"We're all looking after one another, we're a great community, love the south coast," Ms Dwyer said. 

More information on the new rules in NSW can be found HERE.

Tags: coronavirus, COVID-19