Masks to stay under latest COVID-19 rules

15 December 2021

Customers and staff will still be required to wear face masks in many indoor settings while some vaccination mandates will ease under new COVID-19 regulations that the Victorian Government announced today.

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The mandatory vaccination requirement will be removed for retail customers, except for hair and beauty services. 

Vaccination requirements will also be removed in real estate, places of worship, weddings and funerals.  

However, mask mandates in retail, beauty and hairdressing remain unchanged. 

Hospitality venues such as restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs are still only open to fully vaccinated patrons and staff, and workers are still required to wear masks. 

People under 18 will no longer be required to show proof of their vaccination at all venues. 

The latest rules apply from 11.59pm tonight until 12 January 2022. 

Victorian Chamber Chief Executive Paul Guerra expressed disappointment at the ongoing mask mandate for non-essential indoor settings. 

“The Victorian Chamber is disappointed that the Victorian Government has announced continued mask requirements on the same day that the NSW Government has declared that masks will no longer be required in most indoor settings,” Mr Guerra said. 

“Today’s announcement continues to pull the handbrake on our recovery when we should be hitting the accelerator.   

“The Victorian Chamber has been advocating for the removal of masks across all indoor settings except for health, public transport and rideshare services. While the removal of vaccination status checks in some settings is a welcome step, the remaining mask mandates for retail, hairdressing and beauty, and retail and hospitality workers, remains a significant disincentive for people to go to work and support businesses.”  

As part of the announcement, workplaces exposed to a positive coronavirus case will no longer need to deep clean due to mounting international evidence showing that becoming infected by touching a surface is very low risk. 

Tour and transport operators, gyms and creative arts premises such as theatres and cinemas will no longer be required to clean equipment between uses.  

Workplaces will still need to maintain COVIDSafe plans. 

“The Victorian Chamber encourages business owners to continue the deep cleaning process if a COVID-positive person has been on site, regardless of what is required through the State Government’s directions, as a matter of best COVIDSafe practice,” Mr Guerra said. 

The Victorian Chamber’s COVIDSafe Squad stands ready to assist all Victorian businesses to comply with their COVIDSafe requirements.  

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