Truth masked by Minister on mandatory face coverings for regional Victoria
Despite the exceptionally low number of COVID-19 cases, there is no end in sight for mask wearing in regional Victoria.
Health Minister Martin Foley was pushed in State Parliament last week to provide the health evidence to support the wearing of masks in areas where there have been no cases for many weeks and in some areas, no cases at all. The minister could not supply any evidence to back this decision.
State Liberal Member for Eildon, Cindy McLeish, shares the frustration of Mansfield and Murrindindi Shire residents who have had zero active COVID-19 cases for over five weeks, are still being forced to wear masks.
Ms McLeish said, “It’s a hot topic for people in regional Victoria. Many people have raised the issue with me personally and questioned why they have to still wear a mask.”
“People living in the Mansfield and Murrindindi Shires have done the right thing. They have followed restrictions, flattened the curve and yet the city centric Andrews Labor Government won’t reward them with the removal of masks.”
“We are fast approaching summer. No one wants to be wearing a mask in the heat. It will increase health risks for people and cause unnecessary discomfort,” Ms McLeish concludes.
Leader of The Nationals Peter Walsh who put the question to the minister said the Andrews Labor Government’s ongoing refusal to provide specific advice for regional Victoria had wreaked unnecessary emotional and financial devastation.
“We’re all prepared to do our part and listen to health advice to combat the spread of coronavirus, but with fines for non-compliance the rules must be transparent and supported by evidence,” Mr Walsh said.
“I can understand the frustration for businesses and communities that still remain closed because our next steps toward COVID normal are tied to lower case numbers in Melbourne.
“We’re now left questioning why the Minister hasn’t bothered to seek a middle ground that protects public health while also allowing our regional communities to take safe steps towards COVID normal.”
Of Victoria’s 20,317 total confirmed cases of coronavirus, less than 1200 have been recorded in regional Victoria with just five current active cases in the Mitchell Shire Council area and three in Greater Shepparton.