On the same day NSW announced an end to public transport mask mandates it was revealed that the Victorian government has issued more than 100 fines in a mask compliance crackdown.
The Daily Mail reported on Monday that more than 100 Victorians had been fined – and another 181,000 issued warnings – for not wearing masks on public transport.
Victoria’s pandemic rules require people on public transport to wear a fitted face mask unless they have a valid exemption.
Yesterday we witnessed leaders, including our PM, pack into busses after travelling across the globe to attend the Queen’s (potentially super-spreading) funeral.
Not a mask in sight.
But to get on a bus here, they’ll FORCE YOU to mask up.
Full story: https://t.co/4oWYMwiXtz pic.twitter.com/GT0Xkik6kq
— Avi Yemini (@OzraeliAvi) September 20, 2022
Premier Dan Andrews on Tuesday confirmed there will be no change to public transport mask mandates in Victoria, despite increasing pressure to scrap the unpopular rule.
Failure to comply can result in a $100 fine.
Recorded announcements reminding commuters to wear masks have been in place since December 2020.
“Public transport operators are continuing to ensure mask compliance,” a government spokesperson said yesterday.
Meanwhile, the NSW government announced that from tomorrow people would no longer be required to wear masks on public transport.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said yesterday the decision was “a common sense approach”.
Transport Minister David Elliott said the move would allow commuters to make a “personal decision” about wearing a mask.
Many commuters were already making the choice not to comply with the regulations. Around half of commuters on trains and buses don’t bother to mask up, despite constant recorded announcements threatening fines.
It means NSW will join South Australia in ditching mask mandates for travellers, with Peter Malinauskus announcing its mandate would be scrapped from Monday.
Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton tweeted Sunday that “it’s clear we’re in the trough part of Covid-19 activity now, with fewer cases and hospitalisations than we’ve seen for months”.
But he added that with 50 deaths nationally a day “we need to focus on doing everything reasonable to address this”.
National cabinet agreed to scrap mask mandates for domestic flights earlier this month.