Why face mask mandates could return

Labor MP Mary-Anne Thomas said “various ideas have floated” but no decisions have been made about the two rules. “The public health team are looking at modelling and consulting with their colleagues and various ideas have floated but no decisions have been taken,” she told 3AW on Thursday. “The new pandemic declaration enables me to make that decision but I have not yet made it and I’m continuing my consultation, not just with the health team but more broadly.“I chat each day with the public health team but as the Minister for Health, my job is also to ensure that I’m consulting widely and understanding what measures can be put in place to best support Victorians as we go forward.” Ms Thomas said Victorians “know what to do” in order to protect themselves and others from the virus. “It’s important to keep up to date with our vaccines, it’s important to wear a mask in crowded settings, it’s important to put your mask on if required on public transport,” she said. Ms Thomas took over the health portfolio from Martin Foley who resigned from the position in June. It comes as the state’s pandemic declaration was extended this week for three months. Premier Daniel Andrews said he was satisfied Covid was still a “serious risk” to the public. “In making the declaration, I am satisfied on reasonable grounds that there continues to be a serious risk to public health throughout Victoria due to the coronavirus disease, which requires continued public health and other protective measures to reduce the risk of transmission and hospitalisation,” he said.Mr Andrews said the extension enabled “sensible” measures to remain in place over winter as Victoria recorded 10,265 new cases, 12 deaths and 592 hospitalisations on Thursday.

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